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Justice Minister should read her papers

Justice Spokesperson
13 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Justice Minister should read her papers

Judith Collins' obvious failure to read a select committee report on one of her own key victims' rights bill calls into question her stated commitment to the issue, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.

"Questioned in Parliament today about whether she would implement one of Labour's recommendations in the select committee report on the Victims of Crime Reform Bill, Ms Collins replied it was the first she had heard of the issue.

“That is appalling coming from a Minister. What makes it even worse is that she has admitted to not reading the papers on the same day she is trumpeting an extension of funding to the Victims Centre project.

“The amendment referred to asks the Law Commission to consider the position of murder victims' families, who face the ordeal of sitting through trials where their deceased family member's reputation is denigrated as the defence is conducted.

“It’s a serious suggestion about an issue of huge importance to those families, as is another included in the report - that an independent victims' advocate be appointed and given a right of audience in court so that victims and their families have their own advice and representation.
"These have been made in good faith, in an attempt to improve the position of victims and their families.

“It is Ms Collins’ job to read these papers and consider the information in them. Giving glib answers at question time about such important issues, and ones that relate to her own Bill, is particularly bad form,” Charles Chauvel said.


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