Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley, recently announced a widely slated fast track scheme to resolve cases of historic abuse.
To any and all historic abuse claimants, do not accept this offer without first seeking legal advice (contact Sonja Cooper at Cooper Legal, 63-73 The Terrace, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand +64 4-499 9025).
As Cooper legal has put it while talking to media:
“Lawyer Sonja Cooper was “dismayed” at (the) unexpected announcement.
…”It will infringe [on] the basic rights of hundreds of people.”
“Ms Cooper says that the process will suit some of the firm’s clients, and where that is the case the firm will recommend they ‘opt-in’ to the process. However, the process will be selling most victims short, unless the Ministry addresses the fundamental problems with it.”
I understand that many of you are desperate to have your claims resolved but wait a couple of weeks until the UN Committee Against Torture findings pertaining to the NZ State’s handling of the historic claims are announced.BREAKING NOW …. UN Committee Against Torture finds New Zealand in Violation of Historic Abuse Claimants Human Rights
The fast track system is yet another cynical ploy by the NZ Government to deny you of fundamental human rights which are supported by international law. NZ is in breach of International law and we are expecting them to be called to task by UN very shortly.
At this point the UNCAT have made a very telling statement which reads:
JENS MODVIG, Committee Expert and Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations, said the aim of the Committee’s follow-up procedure on periodic State party reporting was to establish changes that occurred as a result of the Committee’s recommendations to a State party. Since the recommendations selected for the follow-up procedure had to be achievable within one year, the Committee decided the procedure should be limited to four issues which involved serious concerns and were protective in their nature. The four issues were: access to fundamental safeguards in connection with the deprivation of liberty; prompt, impartial and effective investigations of allegations of torture and ill-treatment; prosecution of persons accused of acts of torture and punishment if found guilty; and redress to the victims of torture or ill-treatment.
Based on New Zealand’s flagrant disregard for human rights and numerous violations of their international legal obligations as a signatory party of the Convention Against Torture, reading between the lines we expect the New Zealand Government will be called to task in the Committee’s findings and concluding observations which are due to be released in the next week or so. Stay tuned!
Media surrounding the MSD fast track scheme can be found at these links (below):
Historic Abuse Victims Deserve Real Justice (Jacinda Ardern, Opposition Minister for Social Development 7/5/2015) http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1505/S00128/historic-abuse-victims-deserve-real-justice.htm
Payout for abuse victims ‘deeply flawed’ 7/5/2015 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68350176/payout-for-abuse-victims-deeply-flawed
Historical abuse claims process criticized (Myself talking to Radio National 8/5/2015) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/273106/historical-abuse-claims-process-criticised
Bid to clear historical abuse claim backlog (Minister for Social Development putting her cynical spin on things….Radio National 8/5/2015) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/273056/bid-to-clear-historical-abuse-claim-backlog
Government abuse victims offered fast track to compensation (TVNZ, 7/5/15) http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/government-abuse-victims-offered-fast-track-compensation-6309132/video