New Zealand Law Society - Further changes planned for Evidence Act 2006, Justice Minister says

Further changes planned for Evidence Act 2006, Justice Minister says

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Justice Minister Andrew Little says further changes will be made to the Evidence Act 2006.

The Government has tabled its response to the Law Commission's report "The Second Review of the Evidence Act 2006".

A statement from Mr Little says the Government accepts the Law Commission’s conclusion that the Act is generally working well, but that some improvements are needed.

“This includes ensuring that the Act works better for certain groups, such as complainants and witnesses in sexual violence and family violence cases," he says.

“Sexual and family violence is taken very seriously by this government and we are already progressing six of the Law Commission’s recommendations relating to this, in whole or in part. These will be included in legislation to be introduced later this year.

“We have also accepted a further twelve recommendations, including that the Evidence Regulations 2007 be reviewed and modernised.

“These changes will help us towards our overall goal of reforming and improving the justice system for all of the participants within it."

Mr Little says the Government will consider the remaining recommendations in the coming months. He says some of them will have implications for how the courts operate that need to be given further thought.

The Government response says it intends to develop a bill which will give effect to a package of amendments to the Evidence Act. Mr Little says the legislation is expected to be introduced in 2020.

"Work on developing the bill will also consider relevant findings and recommendations from the Safe and Effective Justice: Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata programme, including the work of the Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora - the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group, and the Chief Victims Advisor," it says.

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