Courts Matters Bill and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill – Second Reading – Video 7
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Courts Matters Bill and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill – Second Reading – Video 7


madam Speaker I call go risk airman yes thank you madam Speaker it’s a pleasure to rise to speak to both these bills and leave aside the great raging dispute that’s going on in the house tonight between members from both sides about who in fact is responsible and should be commended for bringing these reforms to our criminal justice system or justice system as a whole leaving all of that aside I wanted to focus on some of the details and some of the details in terms of the courts matters bill that jumped out at me and this is a bill that covers matters from the very functional powers of security guards to the very complex procedures that apply where person of claiming mental impairment and fitness to stand trial and that particular process is one that I’ve got some experience of and I know was absolutely nonsensical under the previous law I was very happy to see and the procedure reversed previously where a person was potentially unfit to stand trial suffered from a disease of the mind which is the very high standard and the court would first hear in an actual disputed hearing whether or not the actual crime is likely to have occurred before that person had access to expert reports on their sanity so as a lawyer where a client was potentially not fit to stand trial is very hard to adduce from them for example and alibis and things like that so you could even have that hearing so essentially that’s being that’s being reversed so that the expert psychological reports come first and if the person’s not fit then the matter is disposed of far more efficient many of the matters covered by this bill goes to efficiency and in one of the the main ones is the procedure to use AVL and in all sorts of new way so video linking and accused persons from from where they’re held for example for four types of hearings where there’s no need for them to attend this does expedite proceedings but I would just note from the front lines of the justice system that not all procedures not all matters heard by the criminal courts are actually suitable for this kind of process so while this is available and and it will help to address the backlog in our courts it would be good to see the new funding that this government is going to put into our justice system so that we do in fact have enough judges to hear things that do require a higher level of procedural safeguard like opposed bails for example that actually affect a person’s rights not to be arbitrarily held where a person is as using a V L in a process like that they very rarely have access to counsel who are in court and not able to speak with them via a VL so moving on to the tribunals powers and procedures legislation bill I would like to focus on the effects that this will have on the human rights Review Tribunal and we’ve heard tonight a few mentions of Roger Haynes QC which I was very happy to hear he’s just been honored and the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours and he has been our world renowned human rights lawyer focusing on refugee law that I wish most New Zealanders knew something about he was the previous president of our refugee appeals Authority and changed the world when he recognized the rights of the rainbow community to asylum and he is now the president of the human rights Review Tribunal and the justice electrum Eddie has heard from him about the backlog now those of us who have worked in the Human Rights sector know that the right to justice itself as in fact denied when it is so delayed that victims are waiting two years for hearing and up to three years now for a decision when we think about the types of cases that go to the Human Rights Review Tribune or these are discrimination cases privacy cases cases that affect the disabilities community and the last one that I had anything to do with was actually involving the family carers case so just to put into context the kind of cases that are coming through this Tribunal and are so badly delayed the family carers case involved family members caring for their profoundly disabled loved ones without proper financial support where their family members placed into corporate care they would get up to so many thousand dollars but the family carers were facing two years minimum wage so they bought a discrimination case discrimination based on family relationship is unlawful and New Zealand and they eventually won it took some years they won and the national government passed legislation under urgency to cut the family carers off from the Human Rights Act remedies regime under urgency in the dead of night without consultation these are important cases these are important issues and they are so delayed as to be waiting for two years for hearing two years vulnerable people I apologize to the member this debate has interrupted and sit down for resumption the exciting day the house stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow you

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