New Zealand Law Society - "Three Strikes" repeal not to go to Cabinet

"Three Strikes" repeal not to go to Cabinet

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A proposal to repeal the "Three Strikes" law will not go before Cabinet as New Zealand First has indicated it would be unlikely to support it, says Justice Minister Andrew Little.

“I acknowledge New Zealand First has concerns about the Three Strikes repeal. The strength of this coalition is that change only occurs with the support of all three parties," he says.

“Further work on a balanced reform package for a more effective criminal justice system that make our communities safer will be considered by the independent advisory panel to be appointed shortly, and progressed in August at the Criminal Justice Summit."

The Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010 creates a three stage system of increasing consequences for repeat serious violent offenders.

There are 40 qualifying offences comprising all major violent and sexual offences with a maximum penalty of seven years or greater imprisonment, including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual violation, abduction, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.

The full list can be found in section 86A of the Sentencing Act 2002. Statistics on the number of first and final warnings issued by the courts are available here.

“We are committed to a meaningful and balanced programme of change and we will be consulting our coalition partners and the public on this over the coming months," Mr Little says.

“The reality is that the justice system is not working and we need to make changes to make our communities safer."