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Mixed response to new trial rules for sexual violence cases

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jul 2019, 10:16am
Criminal Bar Association president Len Andersen says he agrees with some changes but not all. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Mixed response to new trial rules for sexual violence cases

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jul 2019, 10:16am

A criminal lawyer says the rights of victims of sexual violence shouldn't undermine the rights to a fair trial.

The Government has announced a raft of changes to better protect victims, which includes changes around the line of questioning that lawyers can take and more options for victims to avoid facing their alleged attacker. 

Criminal Bar Association president Len Andersen says he agrees with some changes. He told Mike Hosking there are many questions defence lawyers shouldn't be allowed to ask.

"It would not be appropriate to question someone about their dress, to suggest perhaps they were asking for it, to just ask random questions about their sexual history."

However, Andersen says he's worried about others, like allowing victims to refuse cross-examination.

"You're very much required to ensure the questions you ask are relevant. The real concern is to ensure that there are proper rights of cross-examination."

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