New Zealand Law Commission Releases Reports on Victims of Sexual Violence and on Protection of Sensitive Information
The first is The Crown in Court: A review of the Crown Proceedings Act and national security information in proceedings. It has two parts:
- Part 1, A new Crown Civil Proceedings Act, recommends replacing the Crown Proceedings Act 1950 with new legislation that enables people to seek effective legal redress when the Crown has breached a legal obligation.
- Part 2, National security information in proceedings, makes recommendations around how information that might pose a threat to national security if released to the public should be dealt with in court proceedings.
Among other elements, the report proposes that:
- All judges who sit on sexual violence trials should receive special training
- A specialist sexual violence court should be piloted and future consideration should be given to whether proceedings in that court should or should not be heard in front of a jury.
- Government should put in place a legal and policy framework to give effect to an alternative process that could operate entirely separately of criminal trial.
- The process would provide for a victim to complete a programme that addresses the harm caused by the sexual violence and that facilitates discussion with and reparation by the perpetrator, if appropriate.