The Herald reports:
A bill that will establish a commission to focus on possible miscarriages of justice will be considered by a committee of MPs after passing its first reading in Parliament today.
Justice Minister Andrew Little’s bill, which passed without the support of the National Party, will establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
“This bill is an important commitment by this coalition Government to provide a much-needed safety valve to our criminal justice system,” Little said.
“The CCRC will focus on miscarriages of justice and is a direct response to concerns by many New Zealanders over wrongful convictions such as Teina Pora,” he said in a statement.
The CCRC will be an independent body to review convictions and sentences where there is a suspected miscarriage of justice.
It will be able to refer cases back to the appeal courts but will not determine guilt or innocence. It will replace the referral power currently exercised by the Governor-General under section 406 of the Crimes Act 1961.
I’m disappointed National voted against this bill. I think the proposed commission is a good idea and far superior to the status quo where a Government department reviews potential miscarriages of justice.