Criminal Process Improvement Programme (CPIP)

CPIP is a judicially led, cross-agency effort to reduce backlog in the criminal jurisdiction of New Zealand’s biggest court, the District Court, by establishing best practice in court procedure.

Complex court matters and processes that rely on a range of different participants contribute significantly to current workload pressures. CPIP brings together representatives of these groups including the legal profession, Ngā Pirihimana O Aotearoa NZ Police and Ara Poutama Aotearoa Department of Corrections, as well as experienced court managers and the judiciary, to devise and test ways to establish best practice in court processes.

The Ministry of Justice manages the programme while the Chief District Court Judge chairs the programme’s steering group. Senior judges guide each of CPIP’s nine workstreams, drawing on best practice developed in the District Court’s stable of specialist courts.

Each workstream focuses on a different stage of the criminal court process to identify contributors to problems and then design and implement solutions. The workstreams range from bail applications and duty lawyer scope through to trials and sentencing stages. They also focus on outstanding workload, reducing non-appearances and maximising the benefits of holding hearings remotely.

Most workstreams’ solutions are tested at selected court sites first.
CPIP’s focus on making every court appearance meaningful promises to reduce the unnecessary adjournments and delays that waste court time and resources, and those of all court participants - defendants, complainants, victims, witnesses and their whānau.

The approaches it fosters will better prepare parties for court and improve information available to each participant and the judiciary, helping cases to reach resolution earlier.

CPIP is expected to take up to three years to test and roll out.

Watch more about CPIP and its progress(external link)

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