New Zealand Law Society - Removal of longstanding criminal law provisions recommended

Removal of longstanding criminal law provisions recommended

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Parliament's Justice Committee has reported on the Crimes Amendment Bill, recommending that it be passed.

photo of Scales of Justice.1

The bill repeals three sections of the Crimes Act 1961. The committee says removing the three sections will modernise New Zealand's law, as they are widely acknowledged to be out of date and not representative of contemporary attitudes in New Zealand society.

The bill seeks to repeal:

Section 71(2), which relates to immunity for spouses as an accessory after the fact.

Section 123, which is the offence of blasphemous libel.

Section 162, which is the "year and a day rule". This would allow prosecution of an alleged offender for an act or omission that resulted in death more than a year and a day later.

The committee has recommended a technical amendment to the year and a day rule repeal. This is an amendment to clarify its drafting so that it applies only to acts or omissions to which section 162 applies.

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