Statutes Repeal Bill- Committee Stage- Clause 3 – Video 2

Statutes Repeal Bill- Committee Stage- Clause 3 – Video 2

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books I’m gonna call David Clinton Thank You mr. chair I’ll just take a brief call obviously doesn’t support of my the SOP and my name is soapy number three one nine which seeks to remove the Sentencing Council legislation from this repeal bill some good points have been made by labor colleagues I won’t reiterate those I’ll pick up a little where mr. Parker left off at the time I just remind people something of the history of the sentencing and council act it was derived from a law Commission report which highlighted the importance and necessity in fact that used that word that a Council of that sort was actually a necessity in New Zealand a North quad strong language coming from a from a law Commission report the bill then was enacted became an act obviously and has set on our statute books ever since without actually having been put into put into action to be implemented and I think that’s most unfortunate the Act the council’s purpose primarily is to ensure consistency in judges and sentencing what it does not do in any way is impose the parliamentary will of you like on the judiciary it does not seek to have Parliament take over the role of the judiciary or unreasonably um influence them far from it in fact it simply creates a forum where judges themselves where the judiciary can look at their own sentencing practice and establish some some rules of engagement if you like some level of equity some levels of consistency the clearly at the time it was a Labour Party bill other labour government then as it was it was supported by the Greens it was also supported by the Maori Party and I would hope that the Maori Party will support this this SOP mr. Sharples so Pita Sharples as he now is the former at the time this bill went through the co-leader of the Maori Party spoke very strongly in support of this bill I’m sorry of the sentencing council the legislation that established the sentencing council went through was a raft of other justice bills some of them quite substantive so pita sharples at the time made the point and I think I quote him accurately he says it’s the key measure of change and the justice system of all the points of all the changes that were being made back in 2006-2007 so Peter identified the establishment of a sentencing Council as the single most important measure contained in all of those bills for the very reason that mr. Parker began to discuss the fact that we have got institutional bias in our justice system and that’s something I’m sure we all regret it has been acknowledged at least by the police and other parts of the judicial arm of the justice system and the sentencing Council was a practical pragmatic positive measure towards ironing that out to ensuring that their judgments made are consistent irrespective of other factors not least of all ethnicity so that of a pure for Maori person in the Bay of Plenty offends in some way then he or she will be sentenced in the same way that a party hard person in Northland or the South Island would be not identically no two cases are identical but to get the level of consistency a consistent practice which is sadly missing and it’s um it’s obviously must seen currently there is no guideline there are no there is no forum for just for just judges for the judiciary to debate this stuff I was in UK last year and took the opportunity to speak with the head of the office of the UK sentencing council and frankly initially they were surprised that we don’t have such an entity such an agency in New Zealand there were some differences between the UK model and the model adopted here in this legislation the sentencing council act in fact the UK model is probably more authoritative I was gonna say authoritarian that’s wrong but the the sentencing council in UK probably by my judgement has more power to direct the judiciary than the model selected in our own domestic legislation so at the time again that the the bill was passed the National Party did oppose the legislation but the Honorable Christine Wilson and his third reading speech at that time made the point that the National Party had come from a point of complete opposition to the whole notion to a point where they thought actually in principle a sentencing council was probably a good idea mr. Finland’s objection was that it was the wrong model he claimed that the model in as reflected in the legislation was unconstitutional he used the word odious but he also conceded mr. chairman mr. chair our mr. Finlayson at the time conceded that there could be a model that would be acceptable to the National Party so the challenge I put to the government is to to support this SOP to not repeal the sentencing council act but simply to bring an amendment to the to the house consult with the very wise enable mr. finless and I’m sure he’d come up with something that would be acceptable and arguably acceptable to all parties amenda legislation by all means it would be a serious error I believe to repeal it at this stage it would be it’s also been argued by that in fact the repeal itself would be unconstitutional or rather the failure to implement this legislation as itself unconstitutional so so I’ll leave that there I certainly would seek government support all parties support for this sop I’ll just speak briefly to mr. Hopkins SOP on the matter of the section one two three as a Crimes Act simply to say the Greens wholeheartedly support that when it was first pointed out to me a few weeks ago that we had such a provision in our statute I found it quite extraordinary at um it bordered on the medieval the notion that we should have an anti blasphemy Act I think in the event that I mean New Zealanders are more secular country than it has been in previous times not overlooking the fact that many people do have a faith and practice a religion more power to them I think anybody who consistently or publicly or loudly condemned or attacked any particular religion any person practicing a religion any Church any faith would very quickly find themselves at odds for the court of public opinion I think they would be taken to task even by people who may not practice a particular belief system but I think mr. Hopkins was acknowledged that we are a fairly tolerant society I think and that’s a long may that continue so I don’t think it’s at all necessary to maintain this very strange and sadly out-of-date notion of legality of blasphemy I think we can safely pass this rather agree with this SOP would be do no harm it would take off a very peculiar provision in our law and I think our statutes would you get for it thank you mr. Chu I call well Paul Foster Bell Thank You mr. chair

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