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A bill extending the applicability of the Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims Act 2005 for a further year passed its third and final reading in Parliament today.
Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Amendment Act extends the current victims' claims process (due to expire on 30 June) for one year while the Government's policy to redirect prisoner compensation to victims of crime is progressed.
“Courts can only award compensation to prisoners for breaches of their human rights in extraordinary circumstances.
“Currently, if financial compensation is awarded, victims of the prisoner can seek redress for the harms they have suffered, and any remaining compensation goes to the prisoner.
“The Government’s policy is to redirect financial compensation that might be payable to prisoners towards services and programmes supporting victims of crime.
“Legislation to implement our redirection policy is currently before Parliament, and the one year extension in the Amendment Act allows time for the policy to be fully considered at select committee later this year, while preventing the regime effectively expiring in the meantime,” says Ms Collins.