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Have your say on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill

16 November 2018

Parliament is considering a bill that would establish an independent body to investigate whether wrongful conviction or sentencing has occurred in our justice system. The proposed Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) would be able to review convictions and sentences and decide whether to refer them to the appeal court.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission would replace the current approach, where the Governor-General can exercise the Royal prerogative of mercy, which can be exercised to grant a free pardon or refer a person’s conviction or sentence to the relevant appeal court. The commission would be established as an independent Crown entity and be similar to those already established in Norway and the United Kingdom.

• The commission would fill a gap in New Zealand’s criminal justice process. It would help to ensure that everyone has access to justice, including people whose cases might not attract public interest.
• There would be between 3 and 7 members to review convictions and sentences and determine whether it would be in the interests of justice to refer them back to the appeal court.
• The commission itself would not overturn a conviction or determine a person’s guilt or innocence.

When introducing the bill, the Minister of Justice Andrew Little MP said “Given the resources the state puts into securing a conviction, I believe there is good reason for it to put adequate resources into correcting mistakes that may have been made.”
Tell the Justice Committee what you think
Send your submission on the bill by midnight on 7 January 2019.
For more details about the bill:
• Read the full content of the bill
• Get more details about the bill
• What’s been said in Parliament about the bill?
• Follow the committee’s Facebook page for updates

ENDS

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