Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice
New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised.
Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of justice, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening.
New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball says that currently, seeking reviews of convictions or sentences is costly and difficult, and that the process by which they are sought is out-dated.
“Currently, reviews are rarely used due to lack of faith in the process and the cost and time involved for defendants.
“New Zealand First has listened to the concerns of New Zealanders in response to high-profile cases of wrongful conviction, such as that of Teina Pora, and made the establishment of the Commission a priority in government.
“The Commission will ensure reviews are accessible and timely, resulting in speedier justice for those wrongfully convicted,” says Mr Ball.
The Commission will also have powers to investigate systemic issues within the criminal justice system to help avoid wrongful convictions.
“This independent scrutiny will help improve public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system, which is a priority for New Zealand First in the justice space,” says Mr Ball.