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Sentencing - the new dimensions

NZ $40.00
This book is only available in PDF format 
Author(s): Jonathan Eaton, Judge McElrea
Published: 3 March, 2003
Pages: 119



In June 2002 the NZLS Seminar The New Sentencing and Parole Acts was presented by Professor Geoffrey Hall and Stephen O’Driscoll. That seminar provided important but general instruction on the provisions of the Sentencing Act 2002 and Parole Act 2002 and summarised the many changes that had been made to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1985, with their implications for practitioners.

This present seminar does not intend to repeat the helpful instruction provided in that seminar but rather will concentrate on and develop a number of new dimensions to sentencing that arise under those two acts and/or under the Victims Rights Act 2002. In particular those involved in criminal proceedings (including sentencing) need now to understand and be familiar with:
  • the concept of restorative justice and its impact on the purposes and principles of sentencing;
  • the distinction between sentencing and otherwise dealing with an offender;
  • the courts’ obligation to take account of offers to make amends and the outcomes of restorative conferences;
  • the different points at which restorative justice can influence both the choice and implementation of court sentences;
  • the courts’ ability with prison terms of two years or less to impose special conditions of release;
  • the different roles of court and parole board in relation to parole;
  • obligations and duties under the Victims Rights Act;
  • the different roles of court and Parole Board in relation to parole;
  • the statutory presumption in favour of granting leave to apply for home detention;
  • deferral of the start date of sentence if the court has granted leave to apply for home detention; and
  • minimum periods of imprisonment for a determinate sentence.
  • the new Sentencing, Parole and Victims’ Rights Act of 2002 make extensive reference to restorative justice and/or the principles of restorative justice recognising that this concept is now a critical component of our criminal justice system. The relevant provisions, as identified in the new Sentencing and Parole Act seminar booklet and to which we have made some additions, are listed in Appendix 1.
It is the authors’ belief that, taken together, these three statutes from the last parliamentary year require all of those involved in the criminal justice process to re-evaluate their approach to questions of sentencing, parole and victims’ rights in a manner which reflects changing public attitudes to these issues.

The statutes in question apply to sentencing in all New Zealand courts, at whatever level.

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