The purpose of this project was to simplify the statutory provisions governing the laying of criminal charges and infringement offences and their progress through the court system to the point of determination, including appeals, so as to remove current inconsistencies and introduce more efficient procedures.
Simplification of Criminal Procedure Legislation: An Advisory Report to the Ministry of Justice (NZLC SP7)
The Commission's Study Paper, Simplification of Criminal Procedure Legislation: An Advisory Report to the Ministry of Justice (SP7).
The Government agreed that the recommendations in the Law Commission’s Study Paper SP7 should proceed.
Key proposals agreed to by the Government included:
- amending the existing seven categories of criminal offences to five (including removing the prosecution choice of forum provided for in section 6(2) and the First Schedule to the Summary Proceedings Act)
- eliminating the distinction between summary and indictable offences
- repealing the Summary Proceedings Act 1957, and
- introducing a comprehensive plain-language Criminal Procedure Bill, incorporating criminal procedure provisions from the Crimes Act 1961, District Courts Act 1947, and Summary Proceedings Act 1957 (thus comprising a single New Zealand criminal procedure code).
The Law Commission was asked to further progress this work, by collaborating on the drafting of the Criminal Procedure (Simplification) Bill.
See the Development of Comprehensive Criminal Procedures Act project.