Proposal for reform
9.22We recommend that the following guiding principles be set out in legislation regarding the alternative process:
- to enhance the rights of victims of sexual violence by acknowledging the impact of sexual violence; the resulting specific justice needs of victims, including victims’ needs to hold perpetrators accountable through an alternative process; the need for power to be rebalanced between the victim and perpetrator; and to provide an alternative process outside of the criminal justice system that provides programmes that take these matters into account;
- to empower victims to make decisions about how to repair the harm done to them by sexual violence; and
- to provide programmes that, in addition to the above:
- recognise the over-representation of Māori as both victims and perpetrators and that are responsive to their needs;
- are culturally and socially responsive and flexible enough to accommodate the widest range of cases including those involving cognitive impairment, mental illness and physical disability;
- respect and protect the rights of both victims and perpetrators in the alternative process; and
- enable access to the alternative process for victims who elect it, but reserve access to the criminal justice system as it applies in sexual violence cases where a perpetrator does not participate in or complete the alternative process.
- R37 A new statute should be passed which sets out the guiding principles for the alternative process and the other matters covered in Chapters 8 and 9 of this Report.