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2. Policy for dealing with oral submissions from victims

Introduction

Section 49(4) provides that where an offender is to be considered for final conditions of release or release on parole.

Every registered victim of the offender is entitled to -

a) appear and make oral submissions to the Board; and

b) with the leave of the Board be represented by counsel; and

c) be accompanied by one or more support persons (subject to any limitation on numbers imposed by the Board) who may, with the leave of the Board:
     i) speak in support of the victim; and
     ii) with the permission of the victim, speak on behalf of the victim.

Section 50A gives certain right to a person:
     i) who is not a registered victim as defined by section 4(1) but
     ii) is a victim as defined in section 4 of the Victims Right Act 2002.

To give effect to the above the Board has adopted the following policy.

Victim Meetings:

(1) The Board will meet with victims to hear their oral submissions in the absence of the offender at a place other than the prison where the offender is detained.

(2) The meeting will be held prior to the hearing attended by the offender, and may be by way of tele-conference or video-conference.

(3) Where practicable, all members of the panel of the Board convened to conside the offender's parole or final release conditions will attend the meeting.

(4) In general, victims' meetings are not expected to last more than half an hour. Where necessary, the panel convenor can impose a time limit pursuant to section 49(2) (c)

(5) A request under section 49(4)(b) by a victim to be represented by counsel will be considered case-by-case by the panel convenor.

(6) A victim may request to make oral submissions in the presence of the offender at the hearing attended by the offender, provided the offender agrees. The Board will consider such requests case-by-case.

Hon JW Gendall QC
Chairperson
New Zealand Parole Board

Reviewed and confirmed as amended 30 October 2015.