Thursday, 23 July 2009

Quick hit: Provocation gone by Xmas? Oh and something about rape too, maybe

From Stuff today:
...Justice Minister Simon Power, in a speech to the Institute of Policy Studies in Wellington today, unveiled a raft of areas the government was looking at including updating the law around sexual crimes, better protection for children and the partial defence of provocation.

...Mr Power said the defence "wrongly enables defendants to besmirch the character of victims, and effectively rewards a lack of self-control".

He told reporters: "I think (the defence has) had its time, I think there are other mechanisms on the statute book that deal with some circumstances that may arise".

Once Cabinet gave approval a bill would be drafted.

Mr Key indicated Cabinet would be advancing it.
Click through for the whole article.

Most of the media coverage I've seen/heard (not much yet, too busy) has focused on the provocation issue, has anyone any links to articles mentioning more detail on the review of sexual crime, in particular how that might fit in with the review work already underway??


Brett Dale said...

It's about a Government did this. Makes a nice change from Labour's, "Its the victims fault policy's of the past nine years.

Deborah said...

I can't find anything on the M0J site about the sexual violence issues. Simon Power's speech is up on the Beehive site: Here are the relevant remarks about the review of legislation surrounding sexual violence:

So, in addition to these changes in the family violence area, I believe we need to have an open debate about the way in which sexual violence cases are conducted.

In this regard, I am currently considering potentially far-reaching reforms, including:

* The introduction of a positive definition of consent.

* A requirement that the court consider any steps the defendant may have taken to ascertain whether the complainant had consented, and

* Making evidence about previous sexual relationships between the complainant and any person inadmissible without prior agreement of the judge.

I have also asked the Law Commission to look at alternative approaches for dealing with sexual violence cases before the courts, with specific direction to investigate inquisitorial models.

This is a debate we need to have if we want to improve on the reporting rate of between 9 and 12 per cent for sexual violence offences.

That looks like steps in the direction we argued for in THM's submission on the sexual violence legislation discussion document.

Hugh said...

* A requirement that the court consider any steps the defendant may have taken to ascertain whether the complainant had consented

Isn't this already the case? I certainly haven't heard any complaining about these sorts of considerations aren't being made. And given the nearly constant whining of men's right's activists, you'd think they'd have hooked onto this.

Lew said...

I can likewise find no trace online, but I am aware that the University of Canterbury law school is (currently or soon - not sure) undertaking some sort of research into the impact of changes to pre-trial and trial procedure in sexual assault cases.


Anonymous said...

A bit piece of research is also due to e published by the Minstry of Women's Affairs -