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Statute revision bill certifier appointed

Hon Christopher Finlayson

15 July 2014 Media Statement

Statute revision bill certifier appointed

Former High Court Judge the Honourable John Priestley CNZM QC has been appointed as a revision bill certifier for the first three yearly statute revision programme under the Legislation Act 2012, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The government is also seeking submissions on the proposed programme for revision which will be undertaken during the next Parliamentary term.

“I am very pleased that John Priestley will contribute his expert legal skills and experience to this new role,” Mr Finlayson said. “The Legislation Act 2012 requires the government to improve the way some of our statutes are presented to make the law more accessible. The Attorney-General is required to identify, and consult on, suitable candidates to propose for revision over the three year period of each new Parliamentary term. All revision bills must be certified before they can be introduced into Parliament for re-enactment.”

“John Priestley has had a long and distinguished legal career, retiring in 2013 after 13 years as a High Court Judge. I am very pleased that he has agreed to take on this role,” Mr Finlayson said. “His expert scrutiny, and that of the other certifiers, will ensure that the substance of the law will not be changed in these revision bills.”

The other legal experts specified as certifiers in the Legislation Act 2012 are the President of the Law Commission, the Solicitor-General, and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, currently the Honourable Sir Grant Hammond KNZM, Michael Heron QC, and David Noble respectively.

Because revision can only change the form of statutes, they will only certify revision bills if the revision powers set out in the Legislation Act 2012 have been exercised appropriately and the bills do not change the substantive effect of the law.

Revision will make the law clearer and more accessible for people. Suitable candidates for revision include some older statutes written in outdated language. Statutes will be redrafted using the current drafting style and format, rearranged and renumbered. Some statutes will be consolidated and obsolete provisions will be removed. This work will reduce regulatory costs by assisting individuals and businesses to understand more easily the rules that apply.

The first three year programme of statute revision is now available for public submissions on the Parliamentary Counsel Office website at http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/revision-consultation.

Submissions are due by 9 am on 25 August and can be sent to contact@pco.parliament.govt.nz.

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