Commission resumes alternative trial processes review

In 2009-2012 the Commission had an active project under the title "Alternative Models for Prosecuting and Trying Criminal Cases”, pursuant to a reference advanced by its then-Minister (Hon Simon Power). The reference was to “undertake a high level review of pre-trial and trial processes in criminal cases”. The Commission released an issues paper, Alternative Pre-trial and Trial Processes: Possible Reforms (IP30, 2012), and received over 500 submissions, for which it was grateful. Work on the reference was then halted by direction of the then-Minister (Hon Judith Collins).

The current Minister Responsible for the Commission (Hon Amy Adams) has directed the Commission to “resume the suspended work … with a particular focus on sexual offence cases, to identify best practice for improving the court experience of complainants”. The Commission has been asked to complete this exercise by the end of August 2015 if possible. The Commission has begun evaluating the many submissions received on IP30, and re-consulting with key stakeholders to update itself on key changes to the social and legal landscape in the last two years.