The Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill passed its final reading on 12 November 2019. It establishes the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) which has the power to review convictions and sentences and decide whether to refer them to the Court of Appeal or High Court as appropriate. New Zealand Bar Association Vice-President, Jonathan Eaton QC, says that the Commission is very important for Maori who are over-represented in our prisons and for those whose cases might not attract public interest. He describes it as an important access to justice initiative.
The Justice Minister has introduced the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill. It amends the Evidence Act 2006, Victims’ Rights Act 2002, and Criminal Procedure Act 2011. NZBA Criminal Committee members, Todd Simmonds (Deputy Chair) and Matthew Goodwin (co-ordinator – sexual violence reforms), would like to hear members views of the reforms. Please send your comments to us.
In a recent judicial review application, the High Court has confirmed that lawyers must pay the fee of barristers they have instructed on behalf of clients, unless there is explicit agreement reached that the client is solely responsible for payment of the barrister’s fee.