Monday, December 14, 2015

New Zealand Law Commission Releases Reports on Victims of Sexual Violence and on Protection of Sensitive Information

The New Zealand Law Commission today released two reports.

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. 
The second report is The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence: Criminal Trials and Alternative Processes. It considers whether a non-criminal process is a viable alternative way of dealing with certain incidents of sexual violence, where that is desired by the victim, and puts forward a proposal to give effect to such an alternative.

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.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:55 pm

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