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Judicature (High Court Rules) Amendment Bill

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

27 August 2008 Media Statement
Judicature (High Court Rules) Amendment Bill

The Judicature (High Court Rules) Amendment Bill, which will implement a major rewrite of the High Court Rules, had its first reading in Parliament last evening.

In his first reading speech, Courts Minister Rick Barker said that “Court Rules govern the practice and procedure of the Court with their purpose being to facilitate the expeditious, inexpensive and just despatch of the Courts business. The proposed amendments constitute an important improvement in ensuring an effective and efficient Court system.”

In 2004, the Law Commission recommended the rules of Court be redrafted. The Government supported this recommendation, but recognised that it was a decision for the Rules Committee, which is chaired by a High Court Judge, and comprises the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the Secretary for Justice and representatives of both the Judiciary and the legal profession. The Rules Committee undertook this redrafting between 2004 to 2008, with an exposure draft released in April 2007 for 3 months public consultation.

“One of the major goals in this rewrite has been to give the rules a general tidy-up by improving the rules structure and layout, by updating the language and removing obsolete rules and statutory references,” said Mr Barker.

Other changes include enabling people to use sign language during court proceedings, empowering the High Court to make an attachment order on a person’s source of income to assist the recovery of civil debt, clarifying the rules on service outside of New Zealand and the High Court’s power to grant interim relief in support of proceedings before a foreign court, and enabling the future implementation of electronic filing of documents.

“This rewrite has been no small feat and I want to express my gratitude to the Rules Committee and its advisers for their considerable endeavours.”


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