National Party Justice Spokesperson Mark Mitchell welcomes news that Justice Minister Andrew Little is continuing the work of his predecessor Amy Adams to repeal the one year and one day law as part of the Crimes Amendment Bill.

“Mr Little’s announcement that Cabinet will today discuss a draft bill started in 2017 by then-Justice Minister Amy Adams is good news.

“Ms Adams asked officials in June 2017 to begin work on a number of potential amendments to the Crimes Act, including the repeal of Section 162 that states no one can be held criminally responsible for a death that occurs a year and a day after the cause of death.

“It’s good to see the Government picking up where National left off. The law as it stands doesn’t make sense, as demonstrated by the inability to prosecute anyone for the CTV building collapse. We also know that victims of serious assaults, for example, are able to survive longer because of advances in technology, meaning that perpetrators can avoid liability if their victims die outside the legislated period.

“Ms Adams also sought advice on including the repeal of blasphemous libel in the Crimes Amendment Bill, as well as amending self-defence laws to ensure that a person can claim self-defence even if that person is responding to a threat that is not imminent.

“The latter is particularly relevant to cases involving family violence, where a perpetrator’s behaviour can escalate to the point where victims may feel their life is in danger and the need to take drastic action. I hope that the Government will also continue our work on this.

“Thanks to the previous Government, Mr Little has plenty of opportunities to continue our work to make the justice system work better for New Zealanders.”

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