Disappointed National voted against

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 .

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.

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