2022: Submission on the COVID-19 (Courts Safety) Legislation Bill
Victim Support supports the general intent of this bill to enable safe access to justice during the Covid-19 pandemic, however we strongly believe the bill needs refinement to be consistent with obligations under the Victims Rights Act and Victims Code.
Our courts are an essential service, and it is vital that all parties can access them and do so without undue concern about Covid-19 transmission. We wouldn’t want to see victims unwilling to attend court because of health and safety concerns, or any other party for that matter, as that could delay access to justice.
We have three main concerns with this bill:
1) that the proposed entry requirements to court could be barriers, rather than facilitators, of justice;
2) that victims’ interests must be considered if judiciary are given the power to make decisions “in the interests of justice”; and
3) that remote options be made more accessible to victims.
The New Zealand Crime & Victims Survey released today shows a worrying trend that most New Zealanders are not reporting crime.
Since the Christchurch earthquake, the Order of St Lazarus has continued to make significant financial contributions to Victim Support.
Ministry of Health has announced that a new card providing conclusive legal proof of mask exemption will soon be available.
Victim Support supports firearms legislation but is concerned about omitting protection order breaches as qualifying convictions for firearms prohibition orders.
Victim Support highlights concern over underreported family violence due to victims' lack of awareness that they are experiencing family harm.
Victim Support supports the Covid-19 Legislation Bill's intent but emphasizes refinement for alignment with Victims Rights Act and Code.
Victim Support hails the Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill, granting rights to victims of legally insane offenders, addressing past disparities.
Recognising the importance of using te reao across Aotearoa, Victim Support has had some of the key phrases relevant to our mahi translated into te reo Māori.
Victim Support emphasizes the need for victims' voices to be heard, despite the stalling of a bill designed to improve the rights of crime victims
Victim Support supports the Violence Free Aotearoa National Strategy, focusing on preventing family and sexual violence.
Victim Support calls for stronger rights for victims of legally insane offenders, ensuring equality with other victims of crime.
Victim Support emphasizes the need for genuine care and support for victims to encourage reporting and address victimization.