Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 1

Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 1

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no the eyes have it I call on government order of the day number two military justice legislation amendment no third reading on mark Thank You mr. speaker I move that the military justice legislation amendment bill we now read a third time mr. speaker excuse me the the purpose of the military justice amendment bill is to enhance the efficiency transparency and consistency of the military justice system with the law governing the criminal justice system and to correct minor flaws in the relevant legislation most significantly it aligns the rights of victims in the military system with those in the civilian system I would like to acknowledge the Honorable Mark Mitchell for the work that he did and when he was the Minister of Defense who introduced this bill excuse me on the 15th of August in 2017 it is an important bill and one that I was happy to take forward given its intent of making legislative amendments to the military justice system in the areas of victims rights notice of judiciary appointments court-martial procedures and onus of proof which I will speak more about in a little while the bill was considered by the Foreign Affairs defense and trade committee which reported back to the house on the 4th of May a select committee process and the committee’s report demonstrated the strength of this bill again I say put up by the Honorable Mark Mitchell and the broad support it enjoys both in this house and within the wider community and I will say specifically within the military community during the consideration of the bill by the committee of the whole house that has enjoyed the full support again a testament to the strength and importance of the bill one part of the bill that has been subject to much comment during both the second reading and in the Committee of the Whole House I wish to be is that around own onus of proof in particular wish to make clear that under the common law and section 25 C of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 any accused has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law something that I didn’t always feel was actually so when I was a recruit under training at Regular Force cadet school where they often preempted their orders were the words March and the guilty person to change the word slightly mr. Mitchell the prosecution has the burden of proof to the standard so it has to the obligation has the burden of proof to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt that right also applies in the military justice system until now however however there has been an odd quirk within the Armed Forces discipline act section 3 2 clause 4 is intended to remove this unusual exception whereby should a person have a defense to a specific specific offense they must prove it on the balance of probabilities this was a reflection of provisions that used to exist in the civilian system but had been repealed I also introduced during the committee of the whole house a supplementary order paper to ensure that the change is intended by the courts matters bill to the way fitness to stand trial as managed would be equally reflected in the Armed Forces discipline Act this could not have been done prior to the committee stage as it was most appropriate to wait until the court matters bill had recommended to the House by the Justice Committee considering it had been recommended to the house by the Justice Committee considering that that supplementary order paper was also agreed by the committee with these changes the military justice system is updated and better aligned with that in the civilian system and on that basis I commend the bill to the house the question is that the motion be agreed to we got call the Honorable Mark Mitchell Thank You mr. speaker that’s it is a great pleasure actually to be in the House today and rise

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