The Law Commission today released an issues paper for public consultation, Towards a New Courts Act – A Register of Judges’ Pecuniary Interests? (IP21, 2010).
The Law Commission is reviewing the Judicature Act 1908 with a view to consolidating the New Zealand legislation relating to the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and the judges of those courts, into one new Courts Act. The aim is to make the law more accessible to citizens, more user-friendly and efficient.
The Issues Paper sets out the present law in New Zealand and describes the evolution of schemes of this kind in other jurisdictions. It asks whether the existing common law as to the recusal of judges for pecuniary interests is satisfactory, or whether legislative amendment is required. It seeks views on whether a register of judges’ pecuniary interests is necessary or appropriate in New Zealand, and discusses the issues raised.
The Commission welcomes any comments or submissions on the Issues Paper.