Bill to strengthen victims' rights passes into legislation
Wed 04 Jun 2014
A Bill to increase the rights of victims of crime has passed into legislation, following its third reading in Parliament on 27 May 2014. Measures ...
A Bill to increase the rights of victims of crime has passed into legislation, following its third reading in Parliament on 27 May 2014.
Measures included in the Victims of Crime Reform Bill include:
- Requiring the Ministry of Justice to develop a Victims Code to outline victims’ rights and services, complaints processes, and the duties of justice sector agencies;
- Widening the eligibility of victims able to register on the Victims Notification System, allowing victims of specific offences who submitted a view on bail to be notified of the outcome and any conditions of release; and
- Widening the scope of the Victim's Impact Statement, allowing victims of serious crimes the right to read their statement in court. Justice Minister Judith Collins said "In the past, victims have felt their say has been limited and impersonal. Our changes help to empower victims by giving them opportunity to voice how the offending has personally impacted them."
Offences where victims can be included in the Victims Notification System will now include:
- Certain sexual offences;
- Serious assault;
- An offence that has resulted in serious injury to or death of a person; or
- An offence that has led to the victim having ongoing fears, on reasonable grounds, for their physical safety or security or the physical safety or security of his or her immediate family.