New Zealand Law Society - Law Commission updates project progress

Law Commission updates project progress

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The Law Commission has issued a number of updates on projects on which it is working.

The Commission is reviewing the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995, which governs how the police and scientists use DNA for criminal investigations and prosecution. Law Commissioner Wayne Mapp says the Commission will be researching and meeting with experts and scientists over the next few months "before talking to the public later".

The Commission says it has nearly finished its review of the laws of Contempt of Court. Commission President Douglas White says the Commission consulted widely in 2014 and will be finalising its report over the next two months.

"We are confident that our final report will take a complicated area of law and make recommendations designed to gain everyone much more certainty about what the rules are," he says. "That will make it fairer and easier for everyone to do their job effectively - which was the whole point of contempt law in the first place."

The Commission says it is looking at the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 to see if it still meets the needs of New Zealand's diverse, modern families, in terms of determining how property should be divided at the end of a relationship.

Law Commissioner Helen McQueen says an issues paper on the matter should be out in October 2017.

The Commission says it has been working with the Ministry of Justice for the last eight months to review the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Law Commissioner Donna Buckingham says the review looks at developments such as smart phones and cloud computing.

Commission President Douglas White says there will be second review of the Evidence Act 2006. He says the Commission will report to the Minister of Justice with its recommendations within two years, by February 2019.

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