New Zealand Lawyers and NZ Law Society Concerned Over Three Strikes Bill

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A number of procedural matters cause concern for the Society and lawyers

The New Zealand Law Society remains concerned over the so-called “three strikes bill”, saying the aims of the proposed bill woudl be better met by changes to the preventive detention regime rather than the “three strikes” process.

Law Society Criminal Law Committee convener Jonathan Krebs is reported in the Law Society magazine “Law Talk” as saying that the sentencing regime proposed under the bill had aroused “concern and disquiet” among criminal lawyers.

THe comments come in a second submission from the Law Society commenting on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill saying that the revisions proposed n the Law and Order Committee’s interim report had not dispelled the Law Society’s concerns.

“The revisions proposed in he select committee’s interim report have not dispelled the society’s concerns,” he said. These concerns related to inconsistency with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, with New Zealand’s international obligations iin respect of inhuman treatment or punishment and also inconsistency with the principles udnerlying the Sentencing Act 2002.

The Bill’s progress has been unusual from a procedural perspective because it has been moved from Justice to the Police portfolios with no Ministry of Justice advice to the select committee while the views of dissenting members were not containted in the committee’s report to the House. Further, Attorney General Chris Finlayson has advised that the proposed legislaiton breached the Bill of Rights Act.

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