Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 2

Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 2

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the house the question is that the motion be agreed to we got call the Honourable Matt Mitchell Thank You mr. speaker it’s it is a great pleasure actually to be in the House today and rise in support of the Military Justice legislation amendment bill of course in this third reading can I ignored the previous speaker the Minister of Defense the Honorable Ron mark because yes we did introduce this bill he didn’t need to pick it up and keep it moving but he he saw that it was a good bill that actually there wasn’t a lot of there’s not a lot of point in having two disparate systems one running and our military justice system the other and the our civilian courts so I just made good sense especially around putting some more protections around victims and how they treated through the military justice system as well so can I just acknowledge him for supporting the bill and carrying on the good work and sponsoring it through the house so that we can come here today and we can pass this this legislation one of the most as I was saying one of the most important one of the most important changes to me has been around victims and and so I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the changes that were made to victims rights part three of the victims rights Act 2002 confers rights on victims of certain serious offenses and especially namely sexual related offenses or violent offenses including the right to be kept informed and the right to be consulted and respect of decisions such as bail because if you talk to the victims of these types of offenses one of the things that’s most important that’s critically important to them actually is that they kept aware of the status of the offender and you’d be surprised how many tragic cases we’ve had in the past if you go about 20 30 years we’re actually offenders have been given bail or their status has changed and actually the victims or the victims families have never been notified and never been told of that change it change of status sometimes have been put in a terrible situation sometimes it’s resulted in a horribly outcome the amendments made by this bill that victims of specified offenses have rights and protections in the military justice system that are equivalent to though that they would see receive in the criminal justice system and I’m just going back to the point that the minister raised and I’m just reinforcing that is that it made no sense and having rights for victims and now in our civilian court system and of course our New Zealand Defence Force personnel who are actually out there serving the country then they have the same rights and they are military justice system I’m just gonna move forward to the objection of a military member so this is a bit more technical and this does relate really to just what’s happening in the military justice system but it is actually really important because before this change was made you could end up with the insidious position we have a miscarriage of justice because actually the appointment of a military member to that court for whatever reason couldn’t have been challenged so currently or there was no legislative provision for the director of military prosecutions or the prosecutor to object to the assignment of a military member to the court-martial so that would that simply meant that if a military member was nominated there was no way of objecting to and in the criminal and the civilian system if you go in trial by jury then there’s a process by if you’d ever seen it where actually the jurors can be challenged by either defense or the prosecution and and that was actually for for whatever reason or whatever technicality that was not possible in our military justice system it is possible now that the director of military prosecutions or the prosecutor may be aware of circumstances that would make it untenable for a particular person to be assigned or to sit as a military member however in the absence of a formal process for raising such matters with the court there is a potential for a miscarriage of justice and the bill amends the court-martial Act 2007 to remedy this anomaly this is actually like I said it may seem very technical but it’s actually very important because the last thing that we want we’re very proud of our justice system there New Zealand whether it be civilian or military and the last thing we want to see occurring as a miscarriage of Justice onus of proof section 3.2 of the Armed Forces display act 1971 provides that the onus and in the Minister was talking about this and he was relating it back you know with with tongue-in-cheek about it has been a young army officer or in the army and often you’d feel you know in that environment that actually you’re guilty until proven innocent rather than innocent until proven guilty and although he was using some humor there was a there was an important message around this and this is exactly what the onus of proof actually speaks to as the onus is on the accused to prove on the balance of probabilities any excuse exception exemption or qualification that the accused relies on as a defense to a charge so the onus of proof was actually back on the person being accused provisions placing the onus of proof on the accused have largely been removed from the criminal justice system following the decision of the Supreme Court and our first handsome that was back in 2007 there is no good reason for members of the Armed Forces who are tried under the military justice system to have an onus of proof imposed on them that is not imposed in the criminal justice system and that comes back to the heart of what the minister raised and and that so this has been another very good change in the bill so mr. speaker I’m very happy to stand in support of the military justice legislation the amendment bill I’d also like to mention my predecessor the Honorable Gerry Brownlee he was a big driver of this as well I’d like to think the Select Committee for their work this has I understand this is unanimous support in the house and I was very pleased to take the call Thank You mr. speaker the Honorable Andrew little speaker it’s good to take a call on the Military Justice legislation

One thought on “Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Video 2

  • RebelRadius Post author

    It is a damnation that the same onus of proof and innocent until proven guilty in this bill, is not granted to law abiding citizens who may be compelled to undergo forced DNA collections at random.

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