EthnicYouthCoordinationChildrenDisabilityParentingCounsellingWomenElderMaoriSexual ViolenceEducationMenLegalCrisisFamily



   Weekly Media Roundup
   Le Va launches new Upstander initiative
   Keeping you updated: COVID-19
   Child protection leads - Safeguarding Children online training
   Supporting Rainbow & Takatāpui Rangatahi and their Whānau
   Network training from ECPAT NZ
   Family Planning Resources Update
   Recognising & responding to grooming - Safeguarding Children online training
   What is the nature and impact of tech facilitated abuse in young people?
   Ministry of Health: Developing a System and Service Framework
   Indigenous perspectives on healing from PTSD - Learning Network (Canada) webinar
   A Conversation about Trans Health and Primary Care - Webinar series
   Weekly Media Roundup
   Budget 2022 funding for family violence and sexual violence
   DVFREE Family Violence Training for Workplace Support People – Auckland
   Child protection in the context of family harm training - ECLIPSE – Online
   Practitioner-Victim Insight Concept (PVIC) - ECLIPSE - Online workshop
   Foundational training for non-specialists - ECLIPSE - Online workshop
   Job Vacancy at Te Whare O Ngā Tūmanako Māori Women’s Refuge: Team Lead
   He Waka Eke Noa - Online Presentation Series - Episode 6 – Webinar
   Shine RESPOND - Level 3 - Advanced 2-day training
   Harmful Digital Communications Act: recent cases, changes and calls for review
   Care in the Community pivots as NZ returns to greater normality
   Oranga Tamariki Pānui
   Weekly Media Roundup

Debate on Changes to Improve Court Processes for Victims of Sexual Assault

September 15, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Debate on changes to improve court processes for victims of sexual assault

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

Parliament recently debated the Evidence Amendment Bill 2015, which proposes reforms to court processes for victims of sexual assault.

The Evidence Amendment Bill 2015 makes a number of small changes to the Evidence Act 2006, which were among those recommended by a Law Commission review in 2013. The Evidence Act defines what evidence is allowed in court, how evidence is given, and provides limits on questioning and guidance regarding evidence.

The debate involved discussion of two Supplementary Order Papers (SOP) proposed by Green Party Member Jan Logie and one SOP proposed by Justice Minister Amy Adams. One of Ms Logie's SOPs would have allowed victims of family and sexual violence to the same rights as child witnesses to use alternative methods of giving evidence, such as video recording, being unable to see the defendant, or from an appropriate place outside the courtroom. Another would have allowed judges to prevent intimidating questions. Neither amendment was agreed to.

The Minister's SOP 188 was agreed to. It extends the required Law Commission periodic review of the Act from one year to two years and allows a previous statement of a witness to be evidence rather than the witness only being able to refer to it to refresh his or her memory.

Labour Party Member Stuart Nash questioned why the Bill once enacted would not come into effect until July 2017, but this question was not answered in the debate.

The bill is now in its third reading.

The urgent need for reforms of the court process for sexual violence was highlighted in 2009 in a report from the former Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence and research from Elisabeth McDonald and Yvette Tinsley.

The Government's Safer Sooner document says the Minister of Justice is considering more ways to improve the criminal court process, including the experience of family violence and sexual violence victims,


Category: Legislation