ACT wants more transparency in youth justice

Last updated 16:55 24/08/2014
ACT Leader Jamie Whyte
ACT Leader Jamie Whyte

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ACT has proposed opening up youth and family courts to greater public and media scrutiny.

Leader Jamie Whyte wants records to be accessible and judgements published. And he says journalists should be able to report on cases in the same way as in the district court.

Name suppression restrictions would remain in place, under the policy. But details of the judges, lawyers and government and expert witnesses would be public.

He says the "secrecy" of the youth justice system is "a wholly unjustified violation of the principle of open justice."

Official reporting guidelines allow media to attend and report on Family Court cases. And they can attend Youth Courts, and report proceedings with the permission of the judge.

It's ACT's second justice policy launch this weekend. Yesterday, Whyte said dairy and gas station owners should be able to keep guns under the counter for their own protection.

Whyte gave an speech in Auckland this morning and stressed ACT is "tough on crime." "The state's first duty is to protect you from those who would use violence against you - by robbing you, raping you, assaulting you or murdering you."

The party will launch its election campaign in Auckland on September 7.

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