Evidence Bill Progresses And House Rises

by Desk Editor on Thursday, July 2, 2015 — 5:22 PM

A bill intended to make it easier for vulnerable people to give evidence in court has been sent to select committee.

The first reading of the Evidence Amendment Bill was completed on a voice vote.

Louise Upston on behalf of the Minister of Justice said the bill would protect vulnerable victims work and was part of the Government’s review on sexual offences. It was based on the work of the Law Commission’s 2013 review of the Evidence Act.

It would allow a presumption that child witnesses can give evidence in different ways such as by video or behind screens.

David Parker said the Evidence Act was one of New Zealand’s most important laws. Labour would support the bill to select committee and accepted much of what it proposed. He said it was important the select committee process got the balance right in protecting vulnerable witnesses and ensuring people had the ability to defend themselves against accusations.

The bill was sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee for consideration.

The House then by leave rose at 5.20pm for a two week adjournment.
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