Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Second Reading – Video 1

Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Second Reading – Video 1

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the eyes have it I call on government order of the day number five military justice legislation amendment Bills second reading the Honorable Rama I’m Speaker I move that the Military Justice legislation amendment bill be now read a second time from speaker if I might to attack here teeka an academic he took a whore mark David Whittaker my boy might matter speaker I was to in commencing there was a second reading of this bill acknowledge and pay respects to a veteran former soldier senior firefighter use our firefighter and decorated hero of the Christchurch earthquake mark David Whittaker whose funeral was held this morning at rung euro mark was aged mark as a veteran was aged 45 and leaves behind his wife Carol and three children Charlotte Mason and Lauren madam Speaker and passing and moving the second reading on the military justice legislation amendment bill it hasn’t doesn’t go unnoticed by me that when young men and women into the defense force they swear allegiance and they accept that they are from that point on subject to military law which puts them in a rather unique position where they become New Zealand citizens who are subject to two forms of law standard law that every every New Zealand is subjected to but they take upon themselves a code of honor ethics and values and knowingly accept that should they transgress or they breach any of the military laws that there from that moment on apply to them they will be judged and in some cases judged far more severely then would be the case of a civilian accused and convicted of a similar crime it is for that reason and and I just make the point that service personnel like Mark David Whittaker accept these rules without question and everything that comes with them which in the early part of their career which is their recruit training phase can quite often see them appearing in an orderly room on charges for transgressions some as huge and horrific as having twisted bootlaces or dust and the welts of their shoes or a dirty rifle of course that is at the lower end of the military justice system where young men a woman going through their initial training are subjected to the rigors of military training and have instilled in them the discipline required to make them effective military personnel it’s with that mine that we that I move this second reading as I said in the first reading the purpose of this bill is to enhance the efficiency transparency and consistency of the military justice system with the law governing the criminal justice system and correct minor flaws in the relevant legislation this bill has been considered by the Foreign Affairs defense and trade committee which reported back to the house on the 4th of May the Select Committee process and the committee’s report demonstrates the strength of this bill and the broad support that it enjoys both in this house and within the wider community the committee received only four submissions one from the Law Society one from the office of the Privacy Commissioner one from the National Council of women of New Zealand and one anonymous submission the National Council of women and the New Zealand Law Society explicitly acknowledged and supported the purpose of the bill the National Council of women attended the committee to make an oral sub and given the focus of this bill and enhancing victims rights in the military justice system they were particularly interested in how it might affect the situation of women in the Armed Forces this resulted in a commitment by the Defense Force to provide the National Council of women with more information about operation respect operation respect is an organization-wide military operation launched by the Chief of Defence Force in 2016 to eliminate harmful and inappropriate behavior in the Defence Force the Defense Force is to be commended for this initiative and I think the house will agree that the interest of the National Council woman and the Defense Forces engaged with them has been appropriate and timely the New Zealand Law Society made a very good point that the purpose of the bill to line military justice processes with those in the ordinary criminal courts wherever possible would be frustrated if the bill was not amended to take into account some changes to the ordinary criminal law which are proposed in the courts matters bill the courts matters bill is currently being considered by the Justice Committee and it is not due to be reported back until the 24th of May if passed in its current form that bill will change the way in which the issues of fitness to stand trial is approached in the ordinary criminal courts at present the court must first satisfy itself on the balance of probabilities that the defendant did the act alleged this is called the involvement inquiry then if the court is satisfied of that it hears medical evidence to determine whether the defendant is fit to stand trial that is called the fitness inquiry the courts matters bill will reverse the sequence of the involvement and fitness inquiries there equivalent provisions relating to fitness to stand trial in the Armed Forces discipline Act but unfortunately the courts matters bill does not consequentially amend those that is the problem identified by the Law Society in its submission uncovered by the Foreign Affairs defense and trade psych committee in their report the foreign affairs defense and trade committee did not want to prejudice with the Justice Committee would recommend that the this change and sequence be enacted so it has recommended that the Military Justice legislation amendment bill be passed without amendment however the Select Committee recommended that I consider moving an amendment to at the bill during the Committee of the Whole House stage the intent of that is to wait and see whether the change in sequence proposed in the courts matters bill is recommended to the house by the Justice Committee if it is I intend to lodge a supplementary order paper and move in the Committee of the Whole House that this bill be amended to reflect that change madam Speaker I wish to thank the Foreign Affairs defense and trade Select Committee for their diligence and the way in which they’ve considered this bill the recommendations they have made in their report I thank the chairman Simon O’Connor I commend this bill to the house I call Simon O’Connor thank you madam chair can I acknowledge the minister who

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