1 May 2017

Calls in Cooks to prioritise Family Law Bill

4:09 pm on 1 May 2017

The leader of the Cook Islands opposition Democratic Party, Tina Browne, says the passing of the Family Law Bill must be prioritised.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

She said it had taken on greater urgency after controversial comments in court by veteran lawyer Norman George when defending a man charged with assaulting a woman.

Our correspondent said Mr George questioned the woman's sexual history, her dress, level of intoxication and called the accused a "knight in shining armour".

Ms Brown said violence in all forms was unacceptable and the Family Law Bill needs to be enacted to ensure there is zero tolerance for perpetrators of violence.

She said the Bill had been sitting in Parliament since 2013 and has not been passed because Parliament rarely sits.

Ms Browne said the Democrats had been promoting the measure but the government's agenda was not about looking after women and children, so enacting it had not been a priority for it.