Child Harm Prevention Orders move welcomed

Child Harm Prevention Orders move welcomed

05 March 2014

The decision to put Child Harm Prevention Orders on hold has been welcomed by the New Zealand Law Society.

Law Society Family Law Section spokesperson Allan Cooke says the Vulnerable Children’s Bill has admirable objectives, but it is clear that some of the ways it seeks to achieve them are problematic.

“The proposed Child Harm Prevention Orders would have been difficult to implement and raised issues in reconciling the need to protect children in a practical sense with the general civil liberties of New Zealanders,” he says.

“There would have been quite significant restrictions placed on the freedom of movement of those faced with such orders. In particular, the lower burden of proof that was contemplated was troubling.

“As the Minister of Social Development has stated, there are a number of processes that are available to protect children from the risk of violence and abuse.”

Mr Cooke says the Law Society looks forward to continuing its work with the government in addressing the risks to vulnerable children in our society.