New Zealand Law Society - NZBA supports process used by Solicitor-General

NZBA supports process used by Solicitor-General

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New Zealand Bar Association President Clive Elliot QC says the NZBA has every confidence in the process by which the Solicitor-General considers whether a murder charge ought to be down-graded to manslaughter. 

"Suggestions, reported in the media, that the process is flawed or that financial implications are relevant to the decision are misconceived and wrong," he says. 

photo of Clive Elliott QC 
Clive Elliott QC. 

"Unlike the public, the Solicitor-General will have carefully considered all the available and admissible evidence in determining the appropriate charge.
Mr Elliott says the tragic cases involving the death of a baby or an infant often present evidential challenges for the prosecution. 

"If the admissible evidence does not meet the threshold to secure a conviction on a particular charge it will be necessary to down-grade the charge to one where the threshold is satisfied.

"The NZBA fully supports public debate on these issues, particularly to ensure that the public properly understand the processes involved. 

"That debate is one which will be more appropriately engaged following the determination of the present Baby Moko case. It is only then that the full facts can be released to ensure the debate is adequately informed."