The state of criminal justice discourse in New Zealand

Popular punitiveness is by now a well-documented phenomenon in many countries. New Zealand is no exception. The following statement from Judith Collins, the current Police and Corrections Minister, sums up the state of the play:

‘I believe the pendulum of justice has swung too far in favour of criminals … This Government is focusing on putting the victim in the centre of judicial proceedings. I have zero tolerance towards pandering to criminals.’

There’s a gem in each soundbite-cum-sentence. If we already know that certain people are guilty criminals, then surely the criminal trial process is an expensive and unnecessary luxury. But perhaps we should keep it so we can ‘[put] the victim at the centre of judicial proceedings’, whatever that might mean. As for the new tough-on-pandering-to-criminals approach, the criminal pandering lobby has yet to comment.

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3 Responses

  1. tenrou says:

    From a legal comparativist’s point of view, law in New Zealand is incredible different from that in America. The fact that its based as a civil law country changes how law is interpreted so much.

  2. A.J. Sutter says:

    Nicely put, John. But forgive my double-take: is tenrou correct that New Zealand is a civil law jurisdiction?