Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ Needs Reforms To Handle Miscarriages of Justice

New Zealand Needs Legal Reforms To Handle Miscarriage of Justice Cases, Says Report

www.LawFuel.co.nz - The Law Jobs and Legal NewsWire

Establishing a Miscarriages of Justice Authority is a priority says ADLS

There have recently been a number of public claims in New Zealand that innocent persons have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned.

These claims raise an important question: “Does the New Zealand justice system do enough to identify and correct miscarriages of justice?”

Work by highly-respected former prosecutor and High Court Judge Sir Thomas Thorp has concluded that New Zealand should implement reforms similar to those adopted in Scotland and England.

Auckland District Law Society supports this proposal, and calls on Justice Minister Annette King to create an independent authority to deal with miscarriages of justice in New Zealand, as recommended by Sir Thomas Thorp.

There are four main reasons for this:

First - it is clear that miscarriages of justice do occur in New Zealand. While precise figures are not available, it is clear from DNA evidence and other means that innocent people are sometimes convicted by the New Zealand justice system. While the numbers are not high, the consequences of wrongful conviction are serious for the individuals concerned, for the community, and for the integrity of the justice system. Sir Thomas estimates that unless New Zealand’s error rate is dramatically lower than in England or Scotland, it is probable that up to 20 people are currently wrongfully imprisoned in New Zealand.

Second - our current system is inadequate. The system is poorly-equipped to deal with factual inquiries, it lacks independence from the Ministry of Justice, it is inadequately resourced, and it does not have sufficient confidence among the legal profession or convicted persons.

Third - those most likely to suffer from the inadequacies of our present system are the least-privileged members of society. Sir Thomas’s research shows that while Maori and Pacific Island people comprise over 60 per cent of the prison population they make only 11 per cent of claims of wrongful conviction. The most likely reason is that those ethnic groups have the least confidence that the justice system will give them justice.

Fourth - experience in the United Kingdom, particularly Scotland, shows it is possible to create an efficient and effective system at relatively low cost. At an annual cost of approximately NZ$3.5 million, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission deals with approximately 120 cases a year. The Scottish prison population is broadly similar to New Zealand’s and, after seven years’ operation, the Scottish Commission has developed systems to allow it to operate efficiently and robustly.

Auckland District Law Society encourages readers to obtain a copy of Sir Thomas’s report, Miscarriages of Justice, published by the Legal Research Foundation in December 2005, to read a full discussion of these points which is available at the Law Society Store or online at www.adls.org.nz


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding “No.” Political debates have little effect on voter behaviour, let alone on election outcomes. Crucially, the limited effect they do have does not involve a change in voters’ policy preferences... More>>

 

Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>

ALSO:

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels