The Herald reports:
The Labour Party’s plan to reform the criminal justice system would mean that the accused in a rape case would have to prove consent to be found innocent — a change it acknowledges as a monumental shift.
Every New Zealander needs to know about this insane policy of Labour's.
The policy would mean that in a rape case, if the Crown proved a sexual encounter and the identity of the defendant, it would be rape unless the defendant could prove it was consensual.
This could lead to a huge increase in people videotaping their encounters, as it is the only way to prove consent.
Think about all the times you have had sex with someone, and how often could you *prove* consent. Bear in mind that even if you are married to them, that is not proof. If you split with your ex, then all they have to do is head to the cops and say the sex you had six weeks ago was not consensual. Now you then have to *prove* there was consent. Proof is not just casting doubt on the allegation – it is proof that you had consent. Now think about how could you prove you had consent. Doubt is not enough. If it is what you say vs what they say, you will lose.
I’m not sure there is a (western) country in the world that requires you to prove consent when it comes to allegations of sexual assault. There’s a reason for that.
“The Crown has to prove more than just sex; the issue of consent has to be raised by the Crown, they have to prove the identity of the offender. They would have to bear that burden of proof before a switch to the defence to prove consent,” Mr Little said.
Which is a barrier in stranger rape allegations. But no barrier to the large number of cases when the issue is consent, not identity.
He said the issue of proof would only apply where allegations of rape had been raised.
“It is pretty radical thing to say that ‘all sex is rape’ unless you prove consent. The reality is that in 99.9 per cent of cases, no one is being asked to prove consent.”
So reassuring. So long as there is no accusation.
Mr Little said the inquisitorial system still preserved those principles because the Crown would still have to prove a number of aspects of a case before consent was explored.
“I don’t accept that that is creating an offence under which the defendant is guilty until proven innocent.”
They are, once the fact of sex is established – they must then prove their innocence.
If you ever needed a reason to convince your friends and neighbours not to vote Labour, this is it. I predict Labour will be forced to abandon this policy, as more and more people become aware of it – but can you trust them not to implement it after the election regardless?
Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.