The Law Commision undertook this joint project with the Ministry of Justice describing and evaluating status hearings in the District Court. The study considered the purposes of status hearings, whether there is compliance with those purposes, whether there should be statutory provisions, whether features of status hearings should be extended to the indictable jurisdiction.
Terms of reference
The Law Commission shall review the purpose and practice of status hearings in the summary jurisdiction, and in particular shall consider:
- Whether status hearings improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system;
- The role of the judiciary;
- The role of the prosecutor and of counsel for the defendant;
- The observance of the rights of defendants and victims;
- Media reporting of status hearings;
- The desirability and legitimacy of sentence indications;
- Whether there is a need for regulation, either statutory or non-statutory;
- Whether status hearings should be extended to the indictable jurisdiction.
Reforming Criminal Pre-Trial Processes (NZLC PP55, 2004)
The Commission's Preliminary Paper, Reforming Criminal Pre-Trial Processes (NZLC PP55, 2004).
Criminal Pre-Trial Processes: Justice Through Efficiency (NZLC R89, 2005)
The Commission's Report, Criminal Pre-Trial Processes: Justice Through Efficiency (NZLC R89, 2005).
The Commission’s recommendations were included in the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.
There was no requirement for the Government to present a formal response to Commission reports before April 2009.