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Considering Restorative Interventions in Sentencing
New Zealand's Sentencing Act of 2002 incorporated restorative justice language in its sentencing provisions. Judges are now required to consider the results of a restorative process in sentencing decisions. Judge Stan A. Thorburn of the District Court in Auckland applies these provisions to a case of aggravated robbery.
A Survey of 10 Years of New Zealand Court Cases on Restorative Justice
This paper by Judge Stan Thorburn offers a brief account of the development of restorative justice in the Courts of New Zealand since it has been practised over the past 10 years. In particular, it examines a selection of court decisions and identifies significant principles emerging from them. Finally, it compares those to legislation, in particular the Sentencing Act 2002.
Submission of Victims' Rights
A response prepared by the Restorative Justice Centre at AUT University in New Zealand to the Ministry of Justice's discussion document, "A Focus on Victims of Crime: A Review of Victims' Rights."
Thorburn, Stan. The Arrival of Restorative Justice in the Courts: A Brief Outline of the New Zealand Experience
The paper is intended to provide a narrative about the emergence of Restorative Justice into the processes of the Courts in New Zealand.
McElrea, FWM. The Crown v Junior Sami
Notes of Judge FWM McElrea on Sentencing
Restorative justice will cover the country
From the article on Justice Minister Judith Collins has ... announced restorative justice services will be expanded and rolled out to all courts in New Zealand. An additional 2,400 restorative justice conferences - totalling 3,600 in 2014/15 - follow the Government’s $4.4 million investment in adult pre-sentence restorative justice as part of Budget 2013. Ms Collins says investing in pre-sentence restorative justice will help deliver results, give victims a voice in the justice system and make victims strong.
Building new prisons costly – cheaper options needed: [New Zealand] PM
Problems with legal aid
from Chris LaHatte's blog Legal Rambling: What is the answer? Encourage more appropriate charges instead of over prosecution-always a problem. Then, if the appropriate charges are laid, encourage more guilty pleas by use of greater allowances for preparation for sentencing, more use of restorative justice and more resources for expert reports such as drug and alcohol abuse, psychologists, and better probation reports.
Restorative Justice Centre's submission to Ministry of Justice on victims' rights
The Restorative Justice Centre at AUT University in New Zealand has responded to a discussion draft titled "A Focus on Victims of Crime: A Review of Victims' Rights" on how the government might better address the needs of crime victims. Following are excerpts from RJC's response: 9. The central justice needs of victims are submitted to be accountability, vindication, empowerment, information, truth-telling and future safety. Only the first and last of these are addressed (to some degree) by the current legal process, and then only when the offender is convicted. Thus in crimes that go largely unreported, such as sexual offences, there can be no feeling of accountability in the absence of alternative processes, and victims remain unsafe. 10. The remaining four central justice needs are those which Dr Howard Zehr, known to and used by MoJ as a consultant in restorative justice, has said are “especially neglected”. They are next mentioned separately. However they overlap with needs identified by other writers.
Select committee urged to avoid courtroom 'Oprahfication'
from the article on Rethinking Crime and Punishment agrees that victims should be able to provide information to the court about the effects of offending; and the harm they have suffered. However, it does not believe that the presentation of a victim impact statement in the Court, was the best way to achieve it.
Victim Impact Statements
Analogous to the demonization of an offender in the public mind, is the pathologization of the victim in the public mind. The pathologization of the [...]
Becroft, Andrew. Restorative Justice in the Youth Court: A Square Peg in a Round Hole?
New Zealand is known as a leader in the application of restorative justice to youth offending, with over 80% of juvenile offenses being handled through police diversion. The remaining 16-20% results in formal charges in the youth court. This article provides excerpts of a paper that examines the restorative potential of the New Zealand youth court. The full paper, written by Judge Andrew Becroft, Principal Youth Court Judge, New Zealand Youth Court, is attached.
New Zealand Court of Appeal. R. v Clotworthy
This document presents the judgment of the New Zealand Court of Appeal with respect to the sentencing of Patrick Dale Clotworthy. Mr. Clotworthy pled guilty to two violent offenses. The District Court of Auckland sentenced him to two years imprisonment (suspended), reparation, and community service. The Solicitor-General sought to appeal the sentence as being too lenient given the nature of the offenses. The Solicitor-General contended for a longer period of imprisonment (not suspended) and a different reparation order. The document contains a summary of the facts of the case, the sentencing process, the Solicitor-General’s submissions, statutory provisions, the perspectives of Mr. Clotworthy and the victim, and judgment in favor of the Solicitor-General’s appeal for a sentence of longer imprisonment and a different reparation order (though the appeals court expresses the desire not to appear to be in opposition to the concept of restorative justice).
Thorburn, Stan. R. v Clotworthy (unreported) T971545
This document presents the sentencing notes of Judge S. A. Thorburn of the District Court of Auckland (New Zealand) in the matter of the Queen v Patrick Dale Clotworthy. Mr. Clotworthy committed and pled guilty to certain violent offenses. As part of the criminal justice process subsequent to the arrest and charging of Mr. Clotworthy, and prior to sentencing in court, a restorative justice conference occurred in which the victim and Mr. Clotworthy participated. The judge’s sentencing notes recount the facts of the case, the substance and outcome of the restorative justice conference, and the positions of the Crown, the victim, and the offender with respect to the issue of formal sentencing. In view of all aspects, Judge Thorburn imposed a sentence of two years imprisonment (suspended), reparations, and community service.
Gittos, P. R. v Fletcher (unreported) T990070
This document presents the sentencing notes of Judge J. P. Gittos of the District Court of Auckland in the matter of the Queen v Mark Fletcher. Mr. Fletcher pled guilty to a violent offense – specifically, a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Following his arrest and arraignment, Mr. Fletcher participated in a restorative justice conference with the victim, the conference apparently being instigated by the police officer initially involved in the case. The sentencing notes present the judge’s reasoning on the facts of the case, the restorative justice conference, relevant circumstances of Mr. Fletcher’s background, and the imposition of a sentence of two years imprisonment (suspended) and reparation.
Victims of Crime Reform Bill to increase RJ referrals
from the article by John Delaney on Restorative Justice Trust: The Victims of Crime Reform Bill will soon return for its second reading in the House. The Bill introduces a package of measures that are aimed at strengthening existing legislation to better provide for the needs of victims of crime. Of significance for restorative justice providers is the proposal to increase the number of cases referred to restorative justice. This is in recognition of the domestic and international research showing extremely high levels of satisfaction amongst victims who go through the RJ process.
Victim impact statements: Some concerns about current practice and proposed changes
from the article by Chris Marshall in Rethinking Crime and Punishment: Currently victims have the right to submit a VIS in a variety of ways, though it is usually in writing, and to request the opportunity to present the statement in open court. The judge has the discretion to deny this request and to edit the statement if there are concerns about its length or content. Under the new proposal, victims will have the right to use their own words in the VIS and “to address the offender so that the offender may better perceive the impact of the offence on the victim”. For serious offences (s.29 of the Victims Rights Act), victims will have an automatic right to present their VIS in court, though the judge retains the right to manage the process.
McElrea, F W M. The Crown v Junior Sami. Notes of Judge FWM McElrea on Sentencing.
These sentencing notes refer to a case of assault that went to a restorative process. The judge refers to the report from the process and its impact on each of the participants and how this influences his sentencing decisions.
Justice Doogue. Palenapa v R.
[35] It was further submitted for the appellant that restorative justice might have occurred had the Court been invited to adjourn sentencing for that process. It was also submitted that reparation was not considered at sentencing. [36] For the appellant it was submitted that a final sentence of two years imprisonment with leave to apply for home detention is the appropriate response to the appellant’s appeal. This is in particular because of the personal and family circumstances of the appellant, the fact that her husband is in custody, her willingness to pay reparation to the victims and her willingness to undertake restorative processes in order to provide for the interests of the victim. (excerpt)
Driver admits causing death: Case referred to restorative justice
from the article in Otago Daily Times: A man who yesterday admitted careless driving causing the death of another motorist will complete a restorative justice programme before being sentenced. Michael John Andrews (27), mine worker, of Queenstown, appeared before Judge Tom Broadmore in the Queenstown District Court and admitted causing the death of David Orchard on State Highway 1, Mangamaunu, Kaikoura, on March 6....

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