Three-strikes law repeal won't be retrospective - Little

The new Justice Minister says his repeal of the three-strikes law will not be retrospective.

The law's been widely slammed by judges and lawyers, for restricting the court's right to determine proportional punishment.

Andrew Little told Three's The Hui, while it caused a lot of harm - there's only so much he can do.

"The nature of criminal law changes is they are not retrospective. I think what we want to get back to is a justice system where the judges do get to look at all the information about the individuals in front of them."

The three strikes law has disproportionately affected Māori and Pasifika, resulting in much high rates of incarceration.

On a third 'strike', offenders get the maximum penalty without parole, unless the court believes it would be manifestly unjust.

It came into force in June 2010, and is expected to be repealed next year. Former Minister of Justice Judith Collins told The AM Show on Friday it had been a "huge success", but Labour says it's been "utterly discredited".

While statistics show crime has dropped in recent years, the number of prisoners keeps on going up.

Watch the video for the full interview on The Hui.