INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT Supports Stronger Victim Impact Statements

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2011 09:35 AM
ACT Supports Stronger Victim Impact Statements
ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Hilary Calvert today confirmed that ACT will support the 'Victims of Crime Reform Bill' to first reading.
"ACT has long held the view that victims of crime should have the right to read their Victim Impact Statement in court without censorship," Ms Calvert said.
"That's why, last year, ACT submitted the 'Victims' Rights (Victim Impact Statements) Amendment Bill', which would prevent judicial officers from amending or deleting any part of a Victim Impact Statement unless it was clearly untrue or defamatory.
"We would like to avoid a repeat of the tragic situation where victims or family members, such as Mr Gil Elliot in 2009, have had entire sections of their statement crossed out.
"While ACT's Bill has far less scope for judges to amend a Victim Impact Statement than in the Bill introduced today, we believe it is still a step in the right direction which is why we will support it to first reading," Ms Calvert said.
ENDS

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