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

 


Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Redcliffe Forestry Venture

[Scoop copy of judgment: SC_8_2012__CIR_v_Redcliffe__Ors.pdf]

Supreme Court of New Zealand

9 November 2012

MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

COMMISSIONER OF INLAND REVENUE v REDCLIFFE FORESTRY VENTURE LTD

(SC 8/2012) [2012] NZSC 94

PRESS SUMMARY

This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at www.courtsofnz.govt.nz.

On 15 September 2009, Redcliffe Forestry Venture Ltd and others applied to the High Court to set aside a High Court judgment, which had concluded that the Trinity scheme that they were involved in was a tax avoidance arrangement. The judgment had eventually been upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court. Redcliffe alleged that the Commissioner had knowingly and wrongly applied a depreciation allowance to expenditure incurred by the Trinity investors under certain provisions of the Income Tax Act 2004, when others should have been used. Redcliffe asserted that this was fraud, which is an exception to the principle that court judgments are final and conclusive as to what they decide, so that the Commissioner was not able to rely on the Supreme Court’s judgment. The Commissioner responded to the 2009 proceeding by filing an objection to the jurisdiction of the High Court under r 5.49 of the High Court Rules and applying for orders to dismiss Redcliffe’s proceeding on the ground that the High Court’s decision is final and cannot be reopened.

The High Court dismissed Redcliffe’s proceeding. The Judge held that only fraud in the strict legal sense came within the fraud exception to the principle of finality. The allegations of fraud in Redcliffe’s statement of claim were not of this kind. The High Court was also not able to declare its earlier judgment a nullity.

Redcliffe successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal. The focus in that Court was on a procedural issue of whether the Commissioner was entitled to object to the High Court’s jurisdiction under r 5.49. The Court of Appeal accepted Redcliffe’s argument that jurisdiction under r 5.49 did not apply. The Commissioner should have brought its objection by applying under a different rule to strike out the proceeding. Redcliffe’s appeal was allowed. The Commissioner appealed to the Supreme Court against this judgment.

The Supreme Court has held that the fraud alleged by Redcliffe was in fact a claim of legal error which does not come within the fraud exception. The High Court has no power to recall or set aside judgments on questions of law which have been the subject of appellate decision. For the same reason, the High Court also had no jurisdiction to declare its earlier judgment was a nullity. The Commissioner had properly objected to the proceeding under r 5.49 and the Commissioner’s objection to the High Court’s jurisdiction under r 5.49 was soundly based and should have been upheld. Accordingly, the High Court’s judgment striking out the 2009 proceeding was reinstated.

To protect against abuse of process, fraud claims challenging the conclusiveness of judgments of the High Court in future should undergo pre-trial scrutiny. When a party wishes to reopen a case, on the ground that it was procured by fraud, the claim must be fully and precisely pleaded and particularised, and of sufficient apparent cogency that it should go to trial. If a defendant applies to dismiss the proceeding on the ground that the threshold for fraud is not met, the plaintiff must respond promptly and submit probative affidavit evidence which verifies the critical pleaded facts relied on in the proceeding. Unless these requirements are met, the proceeding seeking to reopen the case should be dismissed.

ENDS

[Scoop copy of judgment: SC_8_2012__CIR_v_Redcliffe__Ors.pdf]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news