Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Barristers’ immunity abolished

Barristers’ immunity abolished

In a majority, but not unanimous, decision, the Court of Appeal has said barristers should no longer be immune from being able to be sued for damages over the way they have conducted a civil case.

The decision to abolish the immunity alters a long-standing principle of New Zealand legal practice that all those involved in conducting court cases should be immune from suit for negligence. The court has left open the question of whether barristerial immunity in relation to criminal cases should also be abolished.

A full bench of five judges heard the case of Lai v Chamberlains on 1 March last year and released its decision today (8 March). Four found in favour of abolishing the immunity while the court’s President, Justice Anderson, gave a dissenting judgment favouring retention.

Removal of the immunity applies to lawyers from law firms appearing in court as well as to barristers sole.

Although not parties to the case, the New Zealand Law Society and New Zealand Bar Association were given permission to join the proceedings as interveners and put their arguments as to why immunity should be retained. The question of any further appeal, which would be to the Supreme Court, is one for parties to the case.

“The NZLS is disappointed that our arguments did not prevail and we will be analysing the implications of the 54-page judgment thoroughly,” NZLS President Chris Darlow said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news