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Law Society Submission Sticks Up For Child Sex Offenders

Law Society Submission Sticks Up For Child Sex Offenders and Endangers Our Children

9th December 2015

The recent submission by the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) on the proposed Child Protection Bill has been slammed by SST spokesman Neville Pettersson. Neville says “It’s just too much about the offender and their rights. It disregards victims’ rights and the rights of New Zealand citizens to justice and to live in a safe country”. He comments further regarding their submission, “It just doesn’t seem that well researched. Many of the points are ambiguous, unfounded or redundant. It’s like they’re just throwing as much mud as they can at this thing and seeing what sticks”. You can read Neville’s comments regarding the NZLS Submission here

It is Neville’s opinion that the recommendations by the NZLS seek to dilute the effectiveness of a bill which is already not up to standard according to the Sensible Sentencing Trust. Neville continues “the NZLS seeks to add more loopholes for offenders to get out of registration and reporting while lessening their restrictions and reporting requirements. This is a big mistake”.

The NZLS insist a cautionary approach to implementing a register citing a lack of evidence and data to support the use of such registers. Neville replies “a lack of evidence doesn’t mean they don’t work. It just means there isn’t any data available yet. A cautionary approach would be to have the protection in place, not sit back and do nothing”.

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Unsupported claims abound by the NZLS in their submission. Firstly, they claim that having a Child Sex Offender Register perpetuates the view that mostly strangers commit these crimes. They further claim that reintegrating offenders back into society will reduce their propensity to reoffend. Additionally they propose leniency for offenders who can demonstrate they pose no further risk to society. Neville comments “there is no evidence whatsoever for any of these claims. All they do is minimise the consequence for offenders in an already weak legal system and put more risk back onto our children.”

The Law Society claims that the proposed Child Protection Bill disproportionately punishes offenders, citing excessive reporting obligations, double jeopardy and restrictions to travel. Neville comments “their arguments here are weak and they’re just clutching at straws. This Bill, like others overseas, isn’t a form of punishment. It’s not the purpose of the Bill. How it impedes an offender’s right to travel is beyond me too?”

To read the full reply to the New Zealand Law Society’s submission by SST spokesperson Neville Pettersson click here.


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