Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 8
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Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 8


the curtain I call Crispina Thank You mr. speaker for the opportunity to speak on this the third and final reading of the military justice amendment bill it’s a pleasure to do so soon as I start in particular by saluting the men and women of the New Zealand Defence Force I thank them for their service and also those in particular who have been involved in helping the legislative process of putting together this bill the Defense Forces have been a solid in continuous feature of our national security for many years and while politicians come and go it’s our military vet charged with keeping us safe on the international stage and the national stage too to the extent that they’re involved in non-traditional military operations such as search and rescue and disaster recovery and the like ministers past and present I’d like to acknowledge and thank for the work bringing the bill to the house and indeed to this relatively late stage I’d see the current Minister of Defence as present with us so I acknowledge him in particular and also the officials and advisers have been an integral part of putting together the bill that we have before us now such that my fellow members of the Foreign Affairs defense and trade Select Committee and I have been able to contemplate it Mr Speaker I think a helpful context for a discussion involving military justice is the relationship between discipline in morale morale it’s almost a truism to say is crucial within a defense context to make the boat go faster if it’s a warship I start with the Navy for parochial reasons or the aircraft to fly that much better or to the soldiers to match that much further or whatever the appropriate analogy might be but it’s crucial to have good morale and an aspect of that is to have discipline within the units of the Defence Force that the various women and men of our Defence Force can rely upon in relation to fairness equality uncertainty those values like in the rule of law that applies to all New Zealanders are afflicted in particular provisions of this bill that helpfully reverse some anomalies that other members have already spoken of in the context of the Defence Force particularly the Navy in which I have some familiarity we used to talk about lower dick lawyers and cuff rate lawyers somewhat disparagingly about those of our colleagues who who had me miss Barrett room was excellent very good well I’ve hidden an Army equivalent and educated to me by the Minister of Defence so I think him for that so the general principle seems to be that the Defence Force has no shortage of people who are willing to tell others about the rights and responsibilities and indeed that’s a healthy thing and a natural consequence of that I think sometimes is that there are urban legions that prevail we buy all kinds of stories and explanations might go around the Mystics about what is and is not the case regarding Military Justice I think if the average soldier sailor women had been told upon joining that’s the rights with such that if a victim of a an alleged offense in a military context they would not have the ability to excuse me if if they were accused in fact of a primary military context that they would not have the right to rely on the standard burden of proof provisions of the law I think they would be amazed in probably somewhat disbelieving of such rough and reading advice however as we have heard and that is indeed the case that as it stands now but perhaps not shortly hopefully not shortly once the bill passes that the Armed Forces discipline Act currently has in a section 3 subsection 2 that the onus of the proof is on the prosecution excuse me this that the onus was on the accused to prove on the balance of probabilities any excuse exception exemption or qualification that the accused relies on as a defense to a charge and it was explained quite clearly and I think accepted very readily by members of the Foreign Affairs defense and trade select committee that this was an anomaly in to the extent that it departed from the general standard of New Zealand law indeed Westminster and common law justice systems throughout the ages and across the waters and so it makes sense to be righting that wrong by passage of this legislation now a couple of other aspects of the bill have not been touched on so much in these parliamentary debates they are I suppose least arresting and the sense that they are not such major headline kind of events but nonetheless worth noting perhaps at least in passing that for example the court-martial Act of 2007 has been amended by this legislation so that the you can be a situation in which a particular person might be inappropriate to be sitting as the military member on such a court-martial and you’ll be in nearest provision now for that to be objected to in a way that you would expect in any sort of judicial or quasi-judicial process whereby a decision-maker is expected to be fully aboveboard and all respects in relation to that particular case so mr. speaker with no further ado I’ll join colleagues across the house in congratulating those involved in the passage of the bill thinking members of our New Zealand Defence Force and look forward to the implementation passing into law of the Military Justice legislation mmm bill I call Louis of wore a tunic we tomorrow or Tiffany thank you my colleague David Bennett

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