We welcome your views on the following questions, based on issues discussed in this paper. Please feel free, however, to make any other comments or submissions in relation to this review. Information on how to make a submission appears on page 2 of the Issues Paper.

Chapter 1


Do you agree there should be a stand-alone  Judicial Review (Statutory Powers) Procedure Bill?

Chapter 3


Should the Attorney-General be required, by legislation, to consult those persons set out in para 3.25 in advising the Governor-General on judicial appointments?


Should the criteria which the Attorney-General is obliged to consider in recommending a person for judicial appointment be set out in legislation?


Should the criteria reflect the principles in paragraph 3.38, or should they be something different?


Should it be possible to appoint part-time judges in the Court of Appeal?


Should the provisions preventing judges from undertaking other employment or holding other office apply to judges of all courts? Should they apply to both part-time judges and full-time judges?


Should acting judges be permitted? If so, to what benches should they be appointed, and on what terms?


Chapter 4


Do you agree that the linkages in the structure of the judiciary should be formally recognised in legislation?


If so:

  • should the Principal Judges of the Youth Court and the Family Court be responsible to the Chief District Court Judge for ensuring the orderly and prompt conduct of the business of their divisions?
  • should the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief High Court Judge be accountable to the Chief Justice for the orderly and efficient operation of their benches?


Should the Chief Justice be statutorily required to produce an annual report on the judiciary?


If so, should it be presented to Parliament, or simply made available to the public?


Should a new Courts Bill codify the principle that court officers performing judicial functions are not subject to direction by the Ministry of Justice?

Chapter 5


Do you agree that there should be a generic provision in a new Courts Bill for contempt in the face of the court, dealing with all courts and proceedings, and drafted in similar terms to s 365 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011?


Do you agree that there should be a wasted costs provision in the new Courts Bill?


If so, do you agree with the draft provision set out in appendix 4?


Chapter 6


Should there be one unitary District Court for New Zealand?


Should the upper limit of the civil jurisdiction of the District Courts be increased?


If so, should the upper limit be $300,000 (to take account of inflation), or should the upper limit be increased further?

Chapter 7


Should the commercial list be continued in its present form?


If not:

(a)Should it be abolished (in which case ordinary case management procedures would apply)?

(b)Should it be extended to other centres?

(c)Should it be extended to include substantive matters?

(d)Should it be replaced with a stand-alone Commercial Court for the High Court?

(e)Should it be replaced by a move to a panel system?


If a panel system were adopted:

(a)what panels should there be?

(b)should any such development be required by legislation, or done administratively?


Chapter 8


How do you think the High Court Rules should be treated in legislation?

  • Should rules that extend beyond matters of practice and procedure be set out in a new Courts Bill (like the relevant provisions of the District Courts Act 1947)?
  • Should there be specific empowering provisions in a new Courts Bill for the making of rules that extend beyond matters of practice and procedure?
  • Should the existing rules be deemed to be validly made under the new legislation?
  • Is there another approach?

Chapter 9


Should the new courts legislation make provision for civil jury trials?


If so, in what circumstances should a civil jury trial be available?

Chapter 10


Should a new Courts Bill allow two Court of Appeal judges in civil cases to sit on contested applications for leave to appeal and contested applications for extensions of time in which to appeal?


What matters should a Court of Appeal judge sitting alone be able to deal with?


Should the Court of Appeal be required to make its procedures for determining the number of judges on a panel available to the public? If so, should the same principle apply in the High Court and Supreme Court?


Do you agree that section 58F, which allows a High Court Judge to sit on a Full Court of the Court of Appeal, is unnecessary and should be omitted from a new Courts Bill?



What limitations should be placed on bringing in High Court judges to sit as part of the Court of Appeal?


Do you agree that section 60(1) of the Judicature Act 1908 is unnecessary and should be omitted from a new Courts Bill?


Do you agree that the Court of Appeal should be responsible for deciding whether a case is removed from the High Court into the Court of Appeal?


Do you agree that section 69 of the Judicature Act, which provides for trial at bar, should be repealed and not re-enacted in the new courts statute?

Chapter 12


Should section 99 of the Judicature Act be retained?

Chapter 13


Should the new Courts Bill include a provision enabling the arrest of absconding debtors?


Do you agree that the maximum fine for failing to respond to a witness summons in the civil jurisdiction should be the same as in the criminal jurisdiction ($1,000)?


Should the provisions in Part 1A of the Judicature Act 1908 be included in a new consolidated Courts Bill, or in the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010?


Do you agree with the proposals to retain and clarify:

(a)section 94 (effect of joint judgments)?

(b)section 98A (proceedings in lieu of writs)?


Chapter 14


Do you think there is a need to retain statutory provisions along the lines of sections 17A to 17E governing the liquidation of associations?


If these provisions are retained, do you agree that the reference to partnerships in section 17A of the Judicature Act is unnecessary?


If the provisions are retained, could they be included in the Companies Act 1993?


Do you agree that sections 84 to 86 of the Judicature Act, which relate to sureties, should be retained?


Do you agree that sections 88 of the Judicature Act and 118 of the District Courts Act, which relate to lost instruments, should be retained?


Do you agree that section 90 of the Judicature Act, which relates to stipulations in contracts as to time, should be retained, or is section 99 sufficient?


Do you agree that section 92, which relates to discharge of debt by acceptance of part in satisfaction, should be retained?


Do you agree that sections 94A and 94B of the Judicature Act should be retained until they have been considered as part of a review of the law of mistake?


Where should any necessary commercial provisions currently found in the Judicature Act be located in the future? For example:

  • in a “rump” Judicature Act? or
  • in a completely new statute? or
  • other?

Chapter 15


Are there any problems with the use of McKenzie friends?


Should McKenzie friends be permitted in court?


If so, should there be legislation, regulations or guidelines outlining the role of McKenzie friends in the New Zealand courts?


Should a person be able to have a lawyer as their McKenzie friend?


Should there be a specific statutory provision in the new Courts Bill enabling the appointment of amicus curiae?


If so, on what grounds/in what circumstances should an amicus be appointed?


Why have the provisions of the Judicature Act 1908 allowing the appointment of technical advisors not been used?


Is there a need for guidelines for technical advisers, including matters such as who can be an adviser, and what type of evidence they can give?


To what extent should legislation set out the law relating to interveners? What matters should be addressed in rules?


What rights should be accorded to interveners? Are there any rights of parties which interveners should not have?


Should s 99A be available only to interveners and counsel assisting, or should it also be available to parties? If the former, does the section require amendment?


Chapter 16


Should New Zealand continue its existing approach to vexatious litigants (subject to some statutory amendments), or should it adopt a graduated approach to restraining vexatious litigants similar to that used in the United Kingdom and recommended in Victoria?


Who should have standing to bring an application under section 88B:

  • law officers only?
  • other parties?
  • the courts?


If standing is extended to other parties, should they be required to seek leave before making an application?


Should section 88B of the Judicature Act 1908 be extended to allow orders to be made to prevent a person instituting criminal proceedings?


Should the courts be able to take interlocutory applications and appeals into account as proceedings that have been instituted when considering applications under section 88B?


Should the meaning of “vexatious” be clarified in section 88B? If so, how?


Should section 88B provide a time limit for the application of an order?


Should the section provide for the revocation, variation or setting aside of orders made under the section?


Should appeals against orders made under section 88B be as of right, or require leave?


What approach should be taken to service and determination of applications for leave to institute or continue proceedings where an order has been made under section 88B?