3 Jun 2010

Minister grilled about three strikes policy

5:53 pm on 3 June 2010

Justice Minister Simon Power has been questioned at a Parliamentary select committee about why his ministry did not provide advice about the three-strikes legislation.

The law - passed last week - means offenders automatically receive the maximum sentence for a third serious violent or sexual offence, usually with no chance of parole.

Mr Power appeared before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee to discuss the ministry's funding vote.

But Labour MP David Parker wanted to know why the same committee did not get advice from justice officials about the three strikes bill, when the committee considered it.

Mr Power replied that was because a large part of the law change was in how police laid charges, rather than a judicial matter.

Mr Parker asked whether the ministry had been instructed not to advise the committee and accused the minister of dodging the law change, suggesting he did not agree with it.

But Mr Power denied he dodged the issue.