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New Bill Seeks To Make Victims The Priority Within Justice System

New Zealand First Law and Order spokesman Darroch Ball has submitted the ‘Sentencing (Priority of Interests in Sentencing) Amendment Bill’ – a Members Bill which introduces a new overarching ‘priority and weighting provision’ that courts must follow when sentencing an offender.

“Recent research show that the majority of victims of serious crime feel that justice was not served through their cases and they had no faith in the current system, says Mr Ball.

“This proposed law change would ensure when a court is sentencing or otherwise dealing with an offender, the court must give weight to promoting the following interests in the following order of priority: first the interests of the victim, then the interests of the community, and the last consideration would be the interests of the offender.

“The current system often gives little if any weight to the victim’s rights, victim’s voices or the victims need for justice. This new provision would change that.

“This is a simple change in the law, but it would see a significant change in the way our system approaches dealing with offenders, in particular the importance of victim’s needs in the sentencing process.

“It will ensure that the current offender-centric justice system changes to help ensure that victims are put at the heart of the criminal justice system.”

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