June 04, 2020
Māori voice vital on review panel
Justice Minister Andrew Little says it was important to include strong Māori representation on the new Criminal Cases Review Commission.
The commission, which is chaired by Queen’s Counsel Colin Carruthers, starts work on July 1 reviewing claims of miscarriage of justice.
It replaces the royal prerogative of mercy, and is more in line with the review system used in England and Scotland.
Mr Little says while the Act says there must be one commissioner steeped in te ao Māori, he opted for two – Professor Tracey McIntosh, who had served on his Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group, and Auckland barrister Kingi Snelgar.
"He’s got an outstanding record. he's a young barrister. He's doing work at the Royal Commission on Abuse in State Care. They will both bring a powerful voice and it's important that voice is not in the wilderness, it's at the decision-making table. The commissioners decide what cases get sent back to the Court of Appeal so I'm really pleased with who we’ve got," he says.
Mr Little says past research indicates there are likely to be as many as 50 people in prison for crimes they did not commit
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