INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Victims Rights Agency Mooted By Select Cmtte

Published: Wed 19 Dec 2007 10:47 AM
Single Agency For Victims Rights Suggested By Select Cmtte.
- Report Into Victims' Rights Reported Back
Scoop Audio Report By Spike Mountjoy
A single agency to oversee all matters relating to victims issues could be established if the recommendations of an inquiry into victims' rights are heeded.
The Justice and Select Committee's report into the rights of victims in the criminal justice system was tabled in parliament yesterday.
It makes 38 recommendations including establishing a charter of victims' rights and a comprehensive compensation scheme for victims.
Members of the select committee travelled to Victoria, Australia, to look at how victims are treated by the justice system there.
Lynn Pillay, Chair of the Justice and Electoral Committee, says Victoria's Victims Services Agency cost less than $10m to set up and staff, and something similar should be established in New Zealand.
The report says a similar agency in New Zealand would coordinate and monitor the existing agencies that victims have to deal with.
Other suggestions include making changes to the layout of courts, such as separate entrances and waiting rooms for victims.
The inquiry was initiated by the Green Party.
Scoop Audio: Victims' Rights Recommendations
Scoop Audio: Green MP Nandor Tanczos, Chair of the Justice and Electoral Committee Lynn Pillay, and Labour MP Charles Chauvel discuss the recommendations of the inquiry into victims rights tabled in parliament yesterday. Tanczos begins by introducing Pillay and Chauvel. The press conference was held in the Green Party's caucus room.
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