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Courts Minister Rick Barker has welcomed the National Party's decision to support the Criminal Procedure Bill and is now looking forward to the Bill moving through the final stages as quickly as possible.
"The Criminal Procedure Bill now has the numbers to progress and this is great news for the victims of crime, police, expert witnesses and all court users and staff," Mr Barker said.
"The Bill is an important package of measures that seek to reform criminal procedures, especially around the depositions process and current double jeopardy laws.
"The government has always been committed to passing the Bill in its entirety as the provisions in the Bill are designed to work in concert to improve aspects of the justice system.
"The government has acknowledged National's concerns around the changes to the depositions process proposed by the Bill and as an act of good faith has agreed to a review of the effectiveness of these measures two years from the date of commencement.
"This was a reasonable suggestion and we appreciate the National Party's willingness to negotiate a solution that will allow the Bill to move forward," Mr Barker said.
Currently the Bill is in the Committee of the Whole House stage. Justice Minister Annette King will shortly introduce a Supplementary Order Paper amending the section of the Bill dealing with depositions, to allow oral submissions to be made to support an application for an oral depositions hearing and incorporating the two year review.