New Zealand Law Society - Military Justice Legislation Bill passage recommended

Military Justice Legislation Bill passage recommended

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The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of Parliament has reported on the Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill, with a recommendation that it be passed without amendment.

The bill seeks to realign a number of areas of military law with the equivalent law applied in the ordinary criminal courts. The committee says it would enhance victims' rights and tidy up aspects of the relevant legislation.

While saying the bill should be passed without amendment, the committee recommends amending it by Supplementary Order Paper "to ensure that it achieves its purpose".

The committee says it is concerned that if the sequence of determinations proposed in the Courts Matters Bill is adopted, there will be a divergence between the ordinary criminal justice process and the military justice system. It recommends that the Minister of Defence consider incorporating the effect of clause 108 of the Courts Matters Bill by SOP into the Ministry Justice Legislation Amendment Bill during its committee of the whole House stage.

The SOP proposal is because the Justice Committee is not due to report back on the Courts Matters Bill until 24 May 2018.