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Simon Power

Power backs off on criminal justice reform plans‎

Simon Power 38%

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Justice Minister Simon Power has raised the white flag on his controversial criminal justice reforms, committing to preserving the right to silence and substantially watering down other aspects to pass the bill with cross-party support.

The concessions - which include compromises with the Labour Party on the rules around jury trials, having a trial proceed in the absence of the accused, and the ability of the court to impose fines - follow a week of intense and fast-moving negotiations with several parties.
The proposed changes include:

* Dropping the pre-trial disclosure regime - described as an erosion of the accused's right to remain silent and not having that held against them - from the bill altogether

* Allowing a defendant to choose a trial by jury if they are charged with an offence carrying a maximum penalty of more than two years' jail, with no "exceptinal circumstances" clause; the bill originally proposed a three year threshold

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Sep 15, 2011

Read full article: www.nzherald.co.nz

2011-09-22


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