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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62979 Find in a Library
Title: STUDY OF PRELIMINARY HEARING PROCEDURE BEFORE COMMITTAL FOR TRIAL
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: New Zealand Dept of Justice
New Zealand
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
New Zealand Dept of Justice
Wellington, New Zealand
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 173A OF NEW ZEALAND'S SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS ACT 154, WHICH PROVIDES AN ALTERNATIVE FOR THE COMMITTAL PROCESS AND PRELIMINARY HEARINGS PRIOR TO TRIAL, IS EXAMINED IN THIS STUDY.
Abstract: SECTION 173A PROCEDURES WERE INTRODUCED IN NEW ZEALAND BASED ON AN ENGLISH MODEL AND EXPERIENCE. THE PROCEDURES HAVE A THREEFOLD OBJECTIVE: MINIMIZING INCONVENIENCE TO THE WITNESSES, PROSECUTION, AND DEFENSE; PROVIDE A MORE EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL ALTERNATIVE AT THE PRELIMINARY HEARING STAGE; AND REDUCE THE TIME BETWEEN ARREST AND COMMITTAL FOR TRIAL. TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROCEDURES IN MEETING THESE GOALS, DATA WERE ANALYZED AS DERIVED FROM COMPLETE SUPREME COURT TRIALS AND SENTENCES COMMITTED FROM JANUARY THROUGH APRIL 1978. THE NUMBER OF PRELIMINARY HEARINGS HELD DURING THIS PERIOD WAS 164, ALTHOUGH 225 DEFENDANTS WERE REPRESENTED. THE AMENDED ACT ALLOWS PRESENTATION OF WRITTEN STATEMENTS AS ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE AT THE HEARING, ISSUANCE OF COMMITTAL BY THE COURT, AND REPRESENTATION BY THE SOLICITOR OF THE DEFENDANT. DESPITE THE OBVIOUS ADVANTAGES ALLOWED BY THE PROVISIONS, THEY ARE USED SPARINGLY. MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF ALL COMMITTALS FOR TRIAL ARE PRECEDED BY A FULL PRELIMINARY HEARING. PEOPLE REPRESENTED BY LEGAL AID WERE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A PRELIMINARY HEARING USING WRITTEN STATEMENTS THAN DEFENDANTS WITH A PRIVATELY RETAINED SOLICITOR. HOWEVER, JUNIOR COUNSEL TENDED TO MAKE USE OF THE NEW PROCEDURES MORE READILY. DATA RELEVANT TO THE EFFECT OF BAIL OR CUSTODY REMANDS WERE ALSO EXAMINED. IT WAS FOUND THAT WHILE MORE PEOPLE OBTAINED BAIL WHILE AWAITING TRIAL, AN INCREASED PROPORTION REMAINED IN CUSTODY WHILE WAITING FOR SENTENCING. THESE RESULTS SUPPORT FINDINGS FROM EARLIER RESEARCH. TABULAR STATISTICAL DATA AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; New Zealand; Preliminary hearing; Pretrial hearings; Rules of evidence; Studies
Note: STUDY SERIES NUMBER 2
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62979

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