Chapter 7
The case for an alternative justice mechanism


7.1In this part of the Report, we consider the case for an alternative justice mechanism to be used in sexual violence cases instead of, or in conjunction with, the criminal justice system. We envisage an alternative justice mechanism complementing the criminal justice system, in the sense that victims who do not wish to enter that system will have an alternative mechanism for meeting their “justice needs” (as defined in this chapter).

7.2As long as the relevant processes are appropriate, safe, and have protections for participants there may be room for creative approaches towards development of the alternatives themselves. On that basis, rather than as a replacement to the criminal justice system, it is helpful to view our recommendations for an alternative justice mechanism as being complementary, so that the “strengths [of an alternative justice mechanism] are the weaknesses of the adversary system”.502

7.3This chapter presents the case for providing an alternative justice mechanism, in addition to the recommendations for reforming the criminal justice system made in Part B. Chapters 8 and 9 set out our recommendations as to the shape and form of such an alternative justice mechanism.

502Elisabeth McDonald and Yvette Tinsley “Rejecting ‘one size fits all’: Recommending a range of responses” in Elisabeth McDonald and Yvette Tinsley (eds) From “Real Rape” to Real Justice: Prosecuting Rape in New Zealand (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2011) 377 at 399, n 72 quoting F W M McElrea “Restorative Justice as a Procedural Revolution: Some Lessons From the Adversary System” (paper presented to the first plenary session of the Fourth International Winchester Restorative Justice Conference, 10 October 2007) at 2.