Structure of the Courts

Start date
25 July 2001
04 473 3453
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Project Overview

The purpose of this project is to undertake a review of the structure and operation of all state-based adjudicative bodies in New Zealand, including all courts and tribunals except the top tier of the appellate system.

Terms of Reference 

The Law Commission will consider and report upon the structure of all state-based adjudicative bodies for New Zealand (apart from the Court of Appeal and Privy Council or institutions in substitution therefore) including: 

(a) The volume and nature of work requiring attention. 
(b) The appropriate form, nature, and operation of the Courts and Tribunals required to meet all current needs and expectations. 
(c) The original jurisdiction of the District and High Courts and associated Tribunals. 
(d) The appellate relationship between the District and High Courts, including the form of the appellate regime for appeals from specialist Courts and tribunals, particularly the Family Court and the Environment Court. 
(e) The interrelationship of the Employment Court, the Mäori Land Court and the Mäori Appellate Court, with the District Court and the High Court. 
(f) The relationship between the District Court and the High Court and administrative tribunals and other quasi-judicial bodies with regard to both appeal and review. 
(g) The role and function of Masters and Registrars within the total Court structure. 
(h) The overall structure of how less serious criminal and civil matters may be dealt 
with in the District Courts. 
(i) The rights of appeal from the District Court and the High Court to whatever 
appellate structure exists above them. The Commission will have particular regard 
to its statutory obligations to take account of te ao Mäori (the Mäori dimension) 
and the multi-cultural character of New Zealand society in this exercise.