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Applicants pass away awaiting miscarriage of justice investigations

Summarised by Centrist 

RNZ reports that four individuals in New Zealand have died while waiting for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (Te Kāhui) to investigate potential miscarriages of justice. 

The commission, established in 2020, has received just over 420 applications, with nearly 160 reviewed and completed, 30 under investigation, and more than 200 in the initial assessment phase. 

According to the commission, they only became aware of deaths when a family member or advocate for the applicant contacted it.

Part of the delay, according to RNZ is that opposition from government departments in providing information has hindered the commission’s work. 

According to RNZ, the commission was forced to use ‘powers of compulsion’ 40 times during the last financial year. According to the commission’s director Parekawhia McLean, institutions dragged their feet because they were trying to protect themselves. 

Read more over at RNZ

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