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Victims to have a greater say on restorative justice
from the press release from Restorative Justice Aotearoa: The General Manager for Restorative Justice Aotearoa, Mike Hinton, says the change from an ‘opt in’ to an ‘opt out’ arrangement shows that there is greater acceptance about the role that restorative justice plays in providing the victim with a voice within the criminal justice system. “Research in New Zealand and from overseas clearly shows that participation in restorative justice has benefits for victims of crime. A 2011 survey run by the Ministry of Justice showed that 82% of victims were satisfied after attending a RJ conference and 80% said they would be likely to recommend RJ to others in a similar position”.
Anonymous. References to Restorative Justice in the Sentencing Act
Lists the sections of New Zealand’s Sentencing Act 2002 that refer to restorative justice. They largely involve principles of sentencing and of court adjournment in respect of restorative justice processes that have taken place or are continuing.
Parliament of New Zealand . Victims' Rights Act 2002.
Section 9: Meetings to resolve issues relating to offence If a suitable person is available to arrange and facilitate a meeting between a victim and an offender to resolve issues relating to the offence, a judicial officer, lawyer for an offender, member of court staff, probation officer, or prosecutor should encourage the holding of a meeting of that kind (section 9(1)). These people should only encourage a meeting if they are satisfied that (section 9(2)): the victim and offender agree to the holding of a meeting, and the resources required for a meeting to be arranged, facilitated, and held, are available, and the holding of a meeting is otherwise practicable, and is in all the circumstances appropriate. Section 10: Enforceability of Principles Section 9, and the principles in it guiding the treatment of victims, do not confer on any person any legal right that is enforceable, for example, in a court of law. (excerpt)
Parliament of New Zealand . Parole Act 2002.
Section 7: Guiding Principles When making decisions about, or in any way relating to, the release of an offender, one of the principles that must guide the Parole Board's decisions is that the rights of the victim are upheld, and victims' submissions and any restorative justice outcomes are given due weight (section 7(2)(d)). Section 35: Direction for detention on home detention The outcome of any restorative justice processes that may have occurred is one of the factors to be considered by the Parole Board when considering an application for home detention (section 35(2)(b)(v)). Section 36: Detention conditions With the approval of a probation officer, an offender on home detention may leave the residence in which he or she is detained to (section 36(3)(c)): attend a restorative justice conference or other process relating to the offender's offending, or carry out any undertaking arising from any restorative justice process. (excerpt)
Parliament of New Zealand . Sentencing Act 2002.
Section 8: Principles of sentencing In sentencing or otherwise dealing with an offender, the court must take into account any outcomes of restorative justice processes that have occurred, or that the court is satisfied are likely to occur, in relation to the particular case (including, without limitation, anything referred to in section 10) (section 8(j)).
Parliament of New Zealand . Corrections Act 2004.
In section 6, this legislation calls for the corrections system to ensure that offenders have access to processes that promote restorative justice.
Parliament of New Zealand . Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989.
Outlines a the process for family group conferencing is sections 20-38.

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