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Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 12


I’m convening this to the house Mr Speaker I call her et heap um Thank You mr. Speaker I stand for the third time to address the house on the Military Justice legislation amendment bill and I am the last speaker for the National Party and national parties supports this bill which was introduced under the minister’s ministerial ship of at the time my colleague the Honorable Mark Mitchell was Minister of Defense on the 15th of August 2017 acknowledge our current Minister of Defense Minister the Honorable Ron Max and also your service that you’ve given as a senior military officer annie officer and also to our minister of justice across the house also acknowledged the Honorable Andrew little so it’s quite significant and special that I’m able to take a final call on this matter what the ministers present in the house and also may I share Mr Speaker I have just positioned placed beside me a photo of my brother the deceased lived in and Colonel bata he panel who gave service of many years and when I first spoke to reduce the house in relation to this or displace water to the side I referenced the significance of this because of his service but also because of my service as a lawyer and the civilian criminal justice system so this is about you this is about an alignment of the military justice system with our civilian criminal justice system so when I addressed the house first rising to take a call the first reading I mentioned that I practiced for many years 30 years as a criminal lawyer as a family lawyer as a mental health lawyer as an advocate for our people but not as an advocate and the courts marshal so speaking from that experience and the service that have been given by my brother and also miniature many military personnel both passed and both still living it really is a privilege for me to stay in to address the house today on this film so may I just cheer a brief anecdote for my experience I come from a family that has given long military service and history dating back from the 1840s through to date I thought to join the New Zealand Navy as an 18 year old back in 1982 and I’m talking about alignment now because I stand before the house to address the alignment of the military system with the criminal justice system back in 1982 as a young 18 year old people may calculate my a time in my mid fifties I sought to join the New Zealand Navy as a young officer I was denied that opportunity because I sought to pursue a legal career through the Navy my brother was a serving military officer at the time and he had friends who were junior officers and they were tracking through during their degree through the Navy that was denied me as a woman and that was prior to the days of our anti-discrimination laws that was in 1982 so we had in 1990 the Bill of Rights section 19 address particularly freedom from discrimination that was not available to young woman seeking to join our military forces to pursue other levels of learning and then also the Human Rights Act in 1993 section 21 which prohibits grounds of discrimination on the basis of Sikhs so there was a disalignment at the time had I entered into the Navy I may not be standing here drew seeing the house as a member of parliament but I share that brief anecdote because this is very much about enhancing very much about consistency efficiency and transparency marrying the laws of our military justice system worth our civilian justice system so may I just do now to the act itself I spoke I spoke about my experience as a family court lawyer and an advocate also in the in the criminal courts part three of the military justice legislation amendment bill is specific to victims rights I have addressed the house about the importance of that in terms of victims now under the military justice system having the same rights the same access to justice but the same provision of justice as well under this act and that is commendable I also turn to the importance of fitness to stand trial as a criminal lawyer practicing both in the criminal jurisdiction and the mental health court jurisdiction I represented many people who came before the court now a particular amendment that the Select Committee from the Foreign Affairs trade and defense a Select Committee have proposed and also I believe that this from the Justice Select Committee as well as the importance of aligning the Criminal Procedure the mentally impaired persons Act 2003 under a stem a supplementary order paper for an amendment to be covered under the courts matters bill to reverse the current sequence so what that means is that when I stood in court to represent a person who was mentally impaired or declared to be mentally disordered the criminal laws and until such time that the courts matters bills is assented to I believe it still stands at the moment the provision under the the Criminal Procedure mentally impaired persons Act 2003 specifically section 7 requires that the fitness to stand trial can only occur after all evidence has been heard to substantiate whether or not the offense or the omission has been committed so basically in short what I’m saying as a result of this piece of legislation is seeking to reverse the requirement as to whether a person has committed the audio mission of the offense to reverse that so the priority comes around to the fitness of that person’s mental capacity as to whether they are fit to stand before the court for a trial so this is really important and significant legislation because the committee appropriately recognized and seeks to amend by way of the supplementary order paper under the courts matters bill the reversal of that part mr. speaker time often escapes when one’s so immersed and the importance of this legislation and the detail of it I turn now to the onus of proof significantly as has been spoken to an addressed by colleagues and members of the heart of Parliament before the house the onus of proof will now shift previously and the military justice system the onus of proof was on the accused to prove their innocent that did not line does not line in boksoon align with what’s required under a civilian criminal justice system that the onus of proof is on the prosecution to establish the offense or the omission so mr. speaker in closing may I just sheer again a brief anecdote is that I had a visit as many of us I believe all of us will as members of parliament from the ambassador of the United States of America and our discussions just again led us into military service in history and ambassador Scott Brown disclosed that he was a lieutenant colonel serving in the Army National Guard and he has presented not only to myself but I believe all other members that he is meeting with this coin when he presented this coin we just shared our relationships and associations by way of that military history and service and in closing he had shared with me that he was aware of my brother he had done a little bit of background search and information and so and closing off as the last speak of the National Party and commending this bill soon to be legislation to the house I’m immensely privileged to be able to speak not only on behalf of the National Party but also all of those persons who have given service in our armed forces continue to give service and it is about aligning their access to justice and an an appropriate way tonight our tow cart or cold oh I called Jimmy Anderson thank you very much mr. speaker first and foremost I’d like to acknowledge Minister Defense ronmark and also former minister

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