Criminal Bar wants limitation period for homicide charges reviewed

by Sol Dolor01 Mar 2017

The Criminal Bar Association supports a review of the limitation period for filing of homicide charges after one serious assault victim died earlier this year, yet no charges can be brought against his attacker.

George Siaosi, the victim of a punch after a drunken brawl in Manukau in September 2015, died this January. Under New Zealand law, people cannot be held criminally responsible if death occurs more than a year and a day after the offence.

Len Andersen, Criminal Bar Association president, told Radio NZ that it would be useful to extend the limitation period. However, he said that the organisation is also against having the period open.

“As soon as you have discretion, you have the problem of whether or not somebody should be prosecuted,” he said. “But one of the issues, of course, is that in the days when the rule was first passed, there weren't the medical treatments available now. People can be kept alive a lot longer.”

Justice Minister Amy Adams said that she had asked for a review of the matter.

“I think it is worth reviewing the way Section 162 of the Crimes Act works. I've asked my justice officials for advice, and they will report back to me in due course,” she said.


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