Media Release 1 April 2016
Family First NZ is labelling a judge’s comments about underage sex as flawed and harmful, and says that the laws are there for good reason and should not be weakened.
“Some young people may make mistakes as the judge argues, but the law is designed to protect and judges should not be political activists in changing the standards of society and the appropriate stigma and protection that is brought to bear by the law. Judge Bidois is entitled to take in to account a number of factors when determining an appropriate sentence but it is not his role to weaken the law or make excuses of ‘human nature’ or to suggest that the law needs to be ‘reassessed’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Laws protecting young people from underage sex are there to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation and abuse. They acknowledge the levels of emotional maturity to consent and vulnerability of young people, and also the potential power and possible predatory motives of older people.”
“We also don’t want young teens and children to be sexually active because it’s not in their best long-term interests. Does the judge want to remove all protection from any age of young people being sexually active?”
“It is dangerous ground for judges to mitigate the purpose of the law or the actions of older teenagers who know they are breaking the law. His comments are uncalled for, and rejected.”
Judge on Opotiki five: ‘We all make mistakes, the question is how big is the mistake?’
NZ Herald 31 March 2016