19 Jan 2009

Scrapping criminal justice board spiteful - King

8:23 pm on 19 January 2009

Former justice minister Annette King says it is pure political spite to scrap the Criminal Justice Advisory Board.

Earlier in the week, the Government confirmed that it would get rid of the board, which was set up in April last year to give advice to justice sector ministers.

Justice Minister Simon Power says the $90,000 it cost to run the board will instead be put towards a victim compensation scheme.

Ms King says the board was set up on the recommendation of the Ombudsman to bring together a range of views on criminal justice.

She says it is arrogant of the Government not to want to hear the opinions of others.

Mr Power says he is planning to introduce legislation next month to set up the victim compensation scheme, which will be paid for by a $50 levy on all offenders, and also by the money that would have gone to the Criminal Justice Advisory Board and to the Sentencing Council, which has a budget of $5.8 million.

Mr Power says he is confident the Ministry of Justice will be able to set up the scheme at little extra cost.