Labour’s shameful U-turn devastating for victims

Labour’s underhand last-minute move to shut down debate on my members Bill (Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill) is a disaster for victims’ rights, Louise Upston MP for Taupo says.

“Victims of insane offenders have had their suffering diminished for too long in our criminal justice system when the verdict “not guilty by reason of insanity” is read out in court.”

My Bill changes the verdict to “proven but insane” to make it clear a criminal act took place and ensure victims of insane offenders are treated the same as other victims.”

“The Select Committee gave significant consideration to alternative verdicts and unanimously recommended on changes in Select Committee.”

“Labour’s last minute decision to send the Bill back to select committee demonstrates contempt for our Parliamentary processes.”

“This flies in the face of former Justice Minister Andrew Little’s  2019 promise to victims that the law would change to rename the verdict “not guilty on account of insanity”  to acknowledge that the offender committed the crime.

“The government has also completely disregarded the compelling and harrowing submissions from victims about the desperate need for change.”

“After decades of brave and tireless advocacy from victims they are once again forced to suffer while Labour dithers.”

“National unashamedly believes victims should be at the heart of our criminal justice system. We will not back down on strengthening and standing up for victims’ rights.”

“We can only hope Labour gives regard to the voice of victims and delivers on their own promise made in 2019.”