Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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

 

Changes in the Sexual Violence Justice Response

Parliamentary Undersecretary for Sexual and Family Violence, Jan Logie yesterday afternoon announced some excellent changes in the Sexual Violence Justice area. TOAH-NNEST has long lobbied for desperately needed justice reform. Presently around 1% of adult sexual violence crime results in a conviction. The judicial process can be traumatising in itself and it is little wonder that few victims seek legal redress. Ms Logie spoke of reform that would result in there being no more harm resulting for victims, to compound their sexual violence experience. She believes it is possible to prevent further traumatisation and still have a robust justice system where accused people get a fair trial.

Complainants in future will be given a right to choose the mode of evidence they will use (pre-recording or in person). This changes the status quo where an application to give evidence by an alternative mode must go to the Judge. There will be strict criteria about the creation of those alternative methods of evidence. Complainants may not have to attend court at all which could prevent some of the emotional challenge of seeing their accused at court. Healing can then take precedence in the judicial process. Court cases will also be recorded so that in the case of a retrial, there is no requirement to start from scratch. There will also be changes in the ability of Defence Lawyers to ask sexual history questions about complainants, except in exceptional circumstances when it is essential for fairness. The reforms will see the universal addition of communication assistants for all witnesses to help them better navigate the court process. There will also be new training for judges and defence lawyers and judges will be required to step in if inappropriate questioning occurs in their courtroom. Questions must be relevant, respectful and fair. The reforms guarantee the right to appropriate court facilities for complainants (such as separate waiting spaces, toilets and refreshments) and the reforms also plan to make it easier for complainants to give Victim Impact Statements which can be very exposing at present.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Joy Te Wiata from TOAH-NNEST’s Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri was encouraged to hear that Kaupapa Māori models of justice are to be explored in more depth. The Tauiwi Chairperson, Maggy Tāi Rakena applauds these changes which respond extremely well to matters raised by their national advocacy organisation over many years. Ms Logie was clear that these reforms are just the start and as more resources become available more will reform follow.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.