21 Jul 2010

Changes planned to court system by Power

6:10 am on 21 July 2010

Justice Minister Simon Power says he's planning big changes to the way courts treat child victims and witnesses, and sex abuse victims.

He's investigating whether an inquisitorial legal system may work for some court cases.

That would mean courts would be more involved in investigating a case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the court hears evidence from the prosecution and defence.

Mr Power says he sees merit in a hybrid system used in Austria, where evidence is taken early and stands in a substantive hearing.

Mr Power says that would avoid children being cross-examined years down the track and having to relive their experiences.