27 Dec 2010

526-page bill won't simplify legal system - UK QC

5:00 pm on 27 December 2010

A leading British lawyer says a 526-page bill aimed at simplifying the criminal justice process in New Zealand is likely to do the opposite.

James Richardson QC, who founded the Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers, says the Government's criticism of the current system as being too costly, too complex and too slow is exactly the same argument that was used in an attempt to simplify civil procedure in Britain 11 years ago.

At 526 pages, Mr Richardson says, the Criminal Procedure Bill could tangle the criminal justice process in litigation for years to come, as has happened in Britain.

He also says the bill also has the potential to turn the presumption of innocence upside down.