The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has made a submission to the Justice select committee on a member’s bill that aims to provide victims of legally insane offenders with the same rights as other victims of crime.
Ensuring victims of crime are treated equally and have access to information and support is to be encouraged.
However, the Law Society is concerned the Bill may not achieve this purpose and instead would create inconsistencies in the way different categories of victims are treated. There are also privacy risks, and the Bill is at odds with some core principles of the criminal justice system.
The Law Society has therefore told the Justice committee that victims’ rights would be better protected by amending the Victims’ Rights Act 2002 and recommended that the Bill not proceed.
If the Bill does proceed, the Law Society has recommended a range of changes to improve the Bill.
The Law Society will be appearing before the Justice committee to discuss the Bill.