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Judith Collins

27 November, 2012

Minister welcomes Judicature Act review

Justice Minister Judith Collins today tabled in Parliament the Law Commission’s report Review of the Judicature Act 1908: Towards a New Courts Act.

The Judicature Act forms part of New Zealand’s constitution and is one of the oldest pieces of legislation on our statute books. It provides much of the legislative foundation for the higher courts of New Zealand, including the Court of Appeal.

“We are focussed on creating a modern, accessible and people-centred justice system.

“Recommendations made by the Law Commission, alongside work already underway to transform our courts and justice services, give us an opportunity for changes which will further modernise our justice system.

“We want to improve access to justice and the courts, and to increase public understanding of the work involved by those who deliver it.

“I would like to thank the Law Commission for its careful consideration of this fundamental piece of legislation,” Ms Collins said.

The Law Commission’s report contains 89 recommendations, including:

  • unifying the District Courts Act 1947, Judicature Act 1908 and the Supreme Court Act 2003 into one Act
  • clarifying in legislation the process and criteria for appointing judges
  • enabling specialist panels of judges to be set up in the High Court, and
  • requiring the Chief Justice to publish an annual report on the work of the judiciary.

The Government will formally respond to the report by mid-2013.