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Sexual Violence Interview of Jan Logie by Q+A (Annotated Transcript)

(Further comments added)

Peter Zohrab 2021

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Annotated Transcript of Interview of Green MP Jan Logie on TVNZ's Q+A show about Sexual Violence 21 February 2021

(I have highlighted certain parts in red (some of which show the emphasis given to words by the speakers) and made COMMENTS in green. I have also indicated in green, at various points, how many minutes and seconds of the interview have elapsed so far. I may add further comments in future.)


  1. Q+A:The Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will be back before Parliament this week. Supporters say its proposed changes will help to reduce the trauma of the justice process for victims of sexual violence, but the opponents say two of the proposed changes in particular will fundamentally disadvantage defendants, who, under New Zealand law, are supposed innocent until proven guilty. Green MP Jan Logie has been driving the Bill and is with us this morning. Kia ora good morning!

  2. 2. Jan Logie: Kia ora.

  1. Q+A: I just want to start by saying I realise that this is an incredibly sensitive subject and the purpose of this bill is to try to establish a balance, isn't it -- a balance between not unnecessarily traumatising complainants and victims in the justice process, but also protecting those principles of justice and open justice.

  2. Jan Logie: That's right.

  1. Q+A: What is it specifically that makes the current criminal justice process for sexual violence complainants so traumatic? (0:54)

  2. Jan Logie: Well, it's been right -- the first I am aware of -- where the judiciary and other players in the justice system have come out and recognised that at the moment we don't really have justice for victims of sexual violence in our court process and we've had a huge number of reports reiterating the fact that, through the process of cross-examination, the reliance on myth (1:19) and insinuation of consent that is at odds with our definition of consent, that people, complainants who have gone through that process, have said that, at the end of it, they've felt worse off than they did at the beginning and there was a very recent -- 2018, I think -- report, where parents said that, that they wish they'd never reported. If they'd known how traumatising it would be for their family and their children, they wouldn't have reported. (1:53)

COMMENT: Logie claims that the whole of "the judiciary" was on her side and mentions "a huge number of reports", without naming one specific judge or one specific report that we could look at to check her facts. She states that some parents had said that, if they had known how traumatising it would be for their family and their children, they wouldn't have reported the alleged event -- but Logie does not say whether the courts had decided not to believe the complainants in these cases. If the alleged perpetrator had been found not guilty, of course the alleged victim would have felt that it was a waste of time!

Logie shows absolutely no sign of having consulted judges or reports on the traumatising effect of being falsely convicted of sexual violence. We know from another interview that Logie believes that men have no Human Rights!

Another point is that parents have no insight into whether their children are telling the truth or not. The child's motivation for claiming that they had been sexually assaulted may, in some case, have been their parents' probable reaction if they had known the actual truth. The child may have been forced to lay a police complaint, in order to persuade their parents that they had actually been sexually assaulted, rather than just making up a story.

  1. Q+A: So, it's the cross-examination that you think is a concern.

  2. Jan Logie: It's one of the aspects, it's not.... (1:58)

  1. Q+A: OK, OK.

  2. Jan Logie: It's not all of it, and I do also want to put this in context, where, as a country, the most recent research tells us that 24% of us have experienced sexual violence and only six percent of those people report to the police and one of the reasons for that, acknowledged by the Law Commission in this, in their research into this issue, is because the process is so traumatising. (2:26)

  1. Q+A: OK, Let's talk about the process at the moment. So, at the moment, sexual violence cases are held in a closed court. Sexual violence cases have automatic name-suppression for the complainant. Complainants give evidence -- if they choose to -- via CCTV, so they don't have to be in the same courtroom as a defendant in a case. Sexual violence courts have priority status over other court processes at the moment, so ....

  2. Jan Logie: Not necessarily.

  1. Q+A: Well, they are fast-tracked.

  2. Jan Logie: We have sexual violence pilot courts...

  1. Q+A: and those are prioritised,

  2. Jan Logie: ...where they, in some instances, have managed to prioritise, but that is not consistent across the country.

  3. Q+A: OK, OK, but there are already some provisions.

  4. Jan Logie: We have small provisions to be able to reduce the impact of the process, but, even with those ...

  5. Q+A: Just, just... (3:15)

  6. Jan Logie: Let me...

  1. Q+A: But just to pick you up on some of those, though.

  2. Jan Logie: Yep.

  1. Q+A: Those are unlike regular court processes. That you can give evidence via CCTV, you're not in the courtroom, automatic name suppression, no public gallery.

  2. Jan Logie: I hear what you're saying and actually the automatic name suppression is, from a complainant's perspective, is not uncomplicated. We've heard concerns from complainants about that, in the sense that it's infantilising them, ...

  1. Q+A: They can choose to, they can choose to remove that.

  2. Jan Logie: They can challenge it, but the process of doing that they often find infantilising... (3.45)

  3. Q+A: OK.

  4. Jan Logie: and difficult, but let's get back to the core of what you're asking. You're saying that ....

  5. Q+A: No, no, no. I want to ask about the proposed changes. Sorry. I know we're on time and I've got to get to these two points that I know some in the legal fraternity take umbrage with.

  6. Jan Logie: OK, let's (inaudible). (4:00)

  7. Q+A: Complainants, under the law changes, could give evidence and be cross-examined by defence lawyers before a trial.

  8. Jan Logie: Yep.

  9. Q+A: How would that reduce the trauma of the experience?

  10. Jan Logie: So, the -- and I need to say that we would not be the first country to do this. The UK does this at the moment. This was first brought in....

  11. Q+A: In special circumstances.

  12. Jan Logie: No, the defence lawyers have been misrepresenting this. So, in the UK it is for child witnesses and vulnerable witnesses and the definition of "vulnerable witness" in the UK includes every victim of sexual violence. (4:33)

  13. Q+A: OK. So how would it reduce the trauma?

  14. Jan Logie: So, this has been brought in to other jurisdictions. They've tested that it doesn't have an impact on the right to a fair trial and they've found that it does not. The benefits of it are that it reduces the time that the complainant has to hold the details of those incredibly traumatic events and, when they're giving their evidence, if they are triggered, retraumatised, feeling that stress.... At the moment, in the court, the judge has to assess, will giving this person a break influence the jury's perception?

  15. Q+A: OK.

  16. Jan Logie: Leaning towards them and there can be, at times, we've heard, a reluctance to give them a break.

  17. Q+A: OK.

  18. Jan Logie: And they break down. In a pre-record, they can have that break, that can be edited out and it will not influence the jury, so...

  19. Q+A: So what happens...

  20. Jan Logie: It's for the benefit of the defendant and the complainant.

  21. Q+A: So, if this law passes through, someone gives evidence about a traumatic experience well in advance of the trial, what happens if, when that evidence is played in the trial, the jury has a question for that person?

  22. Jan Logie: So, in, at the moment....

  23. Q+A: That person's recalled to court.

  24. Jan Logie: There is a recall provision within this legislation and when the... (5:50)

  25. Q+A: So that means you go to court twice instead!

  26. Jan Logie: The great thing is, we get to call on overseas examples of having done this to test how big an issue that likely is, and so the 2018 review of the experience in New South Wales found that this is an area of concern, that in over 200 cases they had one recall. OK? So that may....

  27. Q+A: But it happens. I've been to trials.... But there is a possibility that victims, instead of going to court once, go twice.

  28. Jan Logie: Yes.

  29. Q+A: Let me ask you another side of it.

  30. Jan Logie: No, I just want to push back on this a little bit.

  31. Q+A: That's a possibility. There's a provision of that in the law.

  32. Jan Logie: There's a possibility that we are aware of, and the overseas evidence says that the counsel organise their case better, and that there are far less likely chances of interruption and they are able to request to be rescheduled if they don't have their evidence.

  33. Q+A: So section 23 of the Bill of Rights codifies a defendant's right to silence. Now, this applies to all criminal cases at the moment.

  34. Jan Logie: That's right.

  35. Q+A: So it means that the defence doesn't have to show any of its cards, it doesn't have to disclose any of its case until the prosecution has done so. Just let me finish. So, if you are requiring a defence team to cross-examine someone months -- maybe even a year -- before a trial, how are you not requiring a defence to sacrifice its right to silence? (7:10)

COMMENT: I may be wrong, but I thought that the relevant principle here was "Equality of Arms". I seem to remember from Law School that the Prosecution has more resources at its disposal than the Defence, so the Defence has certain privileges, in an attempt to level the playing-field.

  1. Jan Logie: So, I'm coming back to two things here. So, one, the, that argument played in 1999 and the Law Commission, when they considered these reforms, um... suggested that we should not have pre-record and then they reconsidered, they heard the defence parties' concerns about this and they heard the other arguments and they looked at overseas evidence and they recommended that we make this change. The right to silence is fundamentally about the right not to incriminate yourself. That actually presenting a case and putting a case.... What we want in our courts is a testing of the evidence. (7:56) That is not a right to take the prosecution by surprise and rely on that to win the case.

  2. Q+A: The way our ... the way our defence system is set up, the defence has every right to keep all of its cards and its defence close until the prosecution has presented its case. (8:14) The reason for that is that things are often disclosed incredibly late throughout the trial process. If you are requiring a defence lawyer to cross-examine a complainant or a witness a year in advance of the trial, I don't understand how that doesn't show the prosecution exactly the kind of strategy that the defence intends to use. (8:32)

  3. Jan Logie: They get to respond appropriately to that and we are testing the evidence.

  4. Q+A: But they're giving that up.

  5. Jan Logie: We are testing the evidence...

  6. Q+A: But they're giving that up. (8:40)

  7. Jan Logie: In our court, which is the fundamental point of justice. And again, this has been done overseas, tested, found not to undermine the right to a fair trial, has been considereed by the Law Commission, has been given two Bill of Rights vets.

  8. Q+A: Did everyone in the Law Commission agree? Did everyone in the Law Commission agree?

  9. Jan Logie: We have had a clear recommendation from the Law Commission.

  10. Q+A: OK, my point is that it's contentious, right? (9:02)

  11. Jan Logie: Well, it is overseas experience. As a country we are so very far behind every single other jurisdiction.

  12. Q+A: I know that there are leading barristers....

  13. Jan Logie: and at the moment we have a one percent conviction rate. I want you to hold that.

  14. Q+A: OK, the one percent conviction rate from where?

  15. Jan Logie: An epidemic of sexual violence and a one percent conviction rate and ....

  16. Q+A: I've got to stop you there.

  17. Jan Logie: And our provisions allow the judge to disallow pre-record if they believe it will undermine ...

  18. Q+A: I'm sorry, I have to (inaudible) you there. I've looked at the Ministry of Justice report into the (inaudible) sexual violence. So, a third of cases that were reported to police...

  19. Jan Logie: That's right.

  20. Q+A: Resulted in someone being criminally charged.

  21. Jan Logie: Thirty-one percent of those. I am quite aware of that.

  22. Q+A: Right, thirty-one percent. So, of those, 36 percent resulted in a conviction. Nine percent -- just nine percent -- of those defendants were found to be not guilty and twenty percent (inaudible).

  23. Jan Logie: So, when we say one percent, we're comparing against the Crime and Victims survey prevalence data, (10:02) which is where people describe what they've experienced and it is assessed according to our law.

  24. Q+A: Let me ask you....

  25. Jan Logie: And then we know that of those six percent of those people report to the police.

  26. Q+A: OK, but that's survey. Again, I know that it is in everyone's interest that those people who have been sexually assaulted to get justice.

  27. Jan Logie: Absolutely, and let me say that in that survey, it is not those people saying "I have been sexually assaulted." It is describing a behaviour that matches our definition of it.

  28. Q+A: I have to ask you about the second major gripe that many defence lawyers have and that means that the defence would have to apply for permission to run evidence and question a complainant about their previous sexual history with a defendant. Why do we need that change?

  29. Jan Logie: So, they ... this is... well, again, just bring us into line with the UK, Australia and Canada. They (10:55) have this, and we're not disallowing any of that evidence. We are requiring that there is a relevance threshold.

COMMENT: There is no reason why we have to copy slavishly what some other countries do, just because they are English-speaking or White-majority countries. That is racist! Jan Logie is (part-) Maori, which makes it all the more unreasonable for her to take that stance. New Zealand has been populated by people from all over the Globe and it is high time that all these Feminists stopped demanding that we copy all and only the most Feminist laws that they can find in other countries! Those other countries also copy our Feminist laws, so we have a virtual conspiracy of Feminist legal leapfrog between these few countries.

  1. Q+A: But, but ....

  2. Jan Logie: It's bringing it into line....

  3. Q+A: So what's the relevance threshold at the moment for all evidence in all trials?

  4. Jan Logie: So....

  5. Q+A: All evidence has to be relevant.

  6. Jan Logie: At the moment, let me say, so Professor Elisabeth McDonald's very recently done research around that, and using audio tapes of what's happening in our courts and she found evidence of, quite regularly, so an example of a complainant's having kissed a defendant once before ....

  7. Q+A: I'm running out of time, so I just need to say it up to you. No, OK..

  8. Jan Logie: It's used as a definition or evidence of consent. (11:34)

  9. Q+A: OK, as you know, ...

  10. Jan Logie: I question....

  11. Q+A: OK, but if, for example, there is a sexual assault trial, in which the act of sex is not denied by either party, but the issue of consent is central, surely that is relevant. The relationship history between the complainant and the defendant is relevant.

  12. Jan Logie: Yeah!

  13. Q+A: At the moment, under our current legal threshold, (12:00) all evidence presented by both the prosecution and defence has to be relevant. This is essential, this is the pivot of our....

  14. Jan Logie: No. This is, I mean ... I would argue that, at the moment, our Evidence Act, relevance, is out of step with our criminal.... that at the moment consent in our law cannot be assumed, given in general, or for the future, but the way that it is being argued in the court and the evidence that is being introduced is exactly at odds with the criminal definition of consent and the other critical point is here....

  15. Q+A: To that point -- it has to be relevant.

  16. Jan Logie: Yes, this is what we're ensuring. So the defence will have to apply to prove that the evidence is relevant before it's admitted. In the UK, where this happens at the moment, so the twenty-five percent, I think, of cases the defence applied for that evidence to be introduced and 87% of those times the judge said, OK, yes, this is relevant.

  17. Q+A: I know, I just have to note that....

  18. Jan Logie: And allowed it to be introduced. We're not getting rid of it, but it has to be.... When we ....

  19. Q+A: Hang on, hang on a second. (13:07) Because we're almost out of time. I know, we could go all day. But it was just ... it's a really interesting subject and a complex subject....

  20. Jan Logie: It is.

  21. Q+A: And I'm glad that we can give it this time and attention. I know that many of the defence lawyers who oppose your legislation and there are some significant names there -- the Criminal Bar Association, which includes prosecutors, the New Zealand Bar Association, the Defence Lawyers' Association, the Criminal Committee of the Auckland District Law Society. They have some issues with the international examples that you quote as part of this. I'm just acknowledging that. I know we have to move on.

  22. Jan Logie: But I would also say that some of the examples of their responses to that have been wrong.

  23. Q+A: OK.

  24. Jan Logie: And we do need to say that, of the 81 submissions, ten opposed.

  25. Q+A: But we shouldn't. I mean... So how many submissions were opposed to assisted dying?

  26. Jan Logie: And also to say that the Law Commission considered all of those perspectives and ...

  27. Q+A: All Right.

  28. Jan Logie: Overseas evidence and they recommended this. We have a really strong evidence base. To be honest with you, in my history in Parliament, I have never seen a piece of legislation with such a strong evidence base.

  29. Q+A: Is it...?

  30. Jan Logie: The concerns about the right to a fair trial -- the judge holds that role in the court to ensure it and we have built that in every part of the legislation to maintain that job, of them in the court. We've not taken it away at all.

  31. Q+A: All right. We will follow it this week in the courts no doubt. Jan Logie, thank you very much for your time.

  32. Jan Logie: Thank you.


See also:




Peter Douglas Zohrab

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21 April 2021