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Judicial Committees

Introduction
Judicial Libraries Management Board
The Institute of Judicial Studies
Standing Committee on Courthouse Design
Supreme Court Management Committee
Court of Appeal Management Committee
High Court Management Committee
Higher Courts Judicial Support Committee
Judicial Research Committee
Criminal Practice Committee
Rules Committee

Introduction

Each bench has internal judicial management and support committees.  In areas of mutual interest, there are also inter-bench committees comprising members from different benches.  Judges also serve on a number of external committees that may include Ministry of Justice and other government officials, and non-government members.

Heads of Bench meet quarterly and phone conferences are held monthly.  Their meetings are an important forum for developing positions from which the judiciary engages with the Executive, particularly through the Courts Executive Council (CEC), on matters of principle affecting judicial function.

Heads of Bench consider strategic issues affecting the judiciary.  Regular reports on security, information technology, and property are provided to Heads of Bench by the Ministry.  The judicial committees also provide Heads of Bench with regular reports.  Heads of Bench directly raise policy issues or issues of principle affecting the judiciary as a whole with the Executive.

The judicial committee structure can be expressed in diagram form as follows:

Judicial Committee Structure

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Inter-Bench Committees

Judicial Libraries Management Board

The Judicial Libraries Management Board (JLMB) is a strategic and advisory body responsible for overseeing and managing the development of information and library services.  The board’s functions as established by its Memorandum of Understanding are:

  • Determination of a strategic plan for the development of judicial information resources;
  • Preparation of an annual plan outlining judicial library objectives and priorities for the financial year, including allocation of budgeted funds;
  • Devising court library standards for the management, development and maintenance of judicial library and information resources;
  • Monitoring implementation and reviewing compliance with policy;
  • Establishing collection plans for chambers and court materials, and;
  • Liaising and negotiating with the Ministry of Justice regarding financial and human resources required to implement agreed policies and guidelines.

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The Institute of Judicial Studies

The principal functions of the institute are to assist in the professional development of judges, promote judicial excellence and to foster an awareness of judicial administration, developments in the law and social and community issues.

The institute was established through a Memorandum of Understanding between the judiciary and the Department for Courts in July 1998.  In recognition of the importance of judicial independence with regard to judicial education, the Memorandum of Understanding records that ‘the institute will have autonomy in its affairs’. 

The institute’s programmes for judges fall into three general categories.  Some courses involve skills-training such as a judgment writing workshop and a settlement conference workshop.  Other courses involve education on substantive law, usually in areas that have been subject to significant recent law reform.  The third type of programme provides a broader context for judges to consider issues relating to the administration of justice as a whole.  Such programmes include those on gender equity and judicial ethics.

The Director of the Institute of Judicial Studies is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the IJS and each bench has its own education committee.  The Board of the IJS has overall responsibility for the direction of IJS. 

IJS 2011-2012 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2009-2010 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2008-2009 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2007-2008 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2006-2007 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2005-2006 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2004-2005 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2003-2004 Annual Report (PDF)

IJS 2001-2002 Annual Report (PDF)

 

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Standing Committee on Courthouse Design

The Standing Committee on Courthouse Design was formed in 1993.  Its function is to define and refine design-standards for courthouses reflecting the part that courthouses play in the life of the community and the need for their importance to be reflected in their design and appearance. Consistency of design-practice nationwide is the paramount goal.

The committee brings together the judiciary, Law Society and administrators to set design standards. Its focus is on general standards relating to user requirements, layout and furniture and it encourages practical innovation. The committee provides support for architects and courthouse-user groups to help prevent 're-inventing the wheel', and provides information gleaned from designing other courthouses and overseas experience.

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Higher Courts Management and Judicial Support Committees

Supreme Court Management Committee

The Supreme Court Management Committee meets monthly and is attended by all judges and senior Ministry representatives.  The committee routinely considers a Registrar’s report and an update report from the Ministry on projects affecting the court, such as security, accommodation, and information technology initiatives.

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Court of Appeal Management Committee

The Court of Appeal Management Committee is attended by the President and next senior Court of Appeal judge on a monthly basis, along with senior Ministry representatives.  The meetings provide the opportunity for any judicial concerns or issues to be raised directly with the Higher Courts Group.  Issues relating to judicial support can also be considered, along with issues relating to workflow and the registry.

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High Court Management Committee

The committee is chaired by the Chief High Court Judge and maintains an overview of all operational matters and other issues affecting the High Court.  The committee meets quarterly with the Chief Justice and the list judges from the three principal High Court centres.  The Chief High Court Judge also meets monthly with officials from the Ministry of Justice Higher Courts Business Unit.

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Higher Courts Judicial Support Committee

The Higher Courts Judicial Support Committee is a forum to keep under review the support provided to the judiciary by the Ministry.  That support is mainly provided through secretarial services, security, information technology, judges’ clerks, and building services.

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Judicial Research Committee

As the judiciary receive a number of requests each year for participation in various types of research a Judicial Research Committee has been set up to consider such requests. The Committee consists of Judges from the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court. The Committee considers all requests for judicial involvement in research involving the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court (including the Family Court and Youth Court) and makes a recommendation to the Chief Justice or Head of Bench. The Committee has prepared guidelines to assist those seeking judicial assistance with projects.

Judicial Research Committee Guidelines (PDF)

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External Committees

Criminal Practice Committee

The Criminal Practice Committee was established at the request of the then Chief Justice, Sir Ronald Davison, in 1988 and held its first meeting in 1989.  It brings together all those professionally involved in the criminal justice system at a senior level to progress matters of importance to the operation of the criminal justice system and to inform the Executive.  Members include legal practitioners, Ministry of Justice policy and registry advisers, police, the New Zealand Law Commission, Crown Law, judges and Law Society representatives.

Annual Report 2012 (PDF 2mb)

Annual Report 2011 (PDF 317kb)

Annual Report 2010 (PDF 72kb)

Annual Report 2009 (PDF 52kb)

Annual Report 2008 (PDF 34kb)

Annual Report 2007 (PDF 31kb)

Annual Report 2006 (PDF 23kb)

Annual Report 2005 (PDF 23kb)

Annual Report 2004 (PDF 27kb)

Annual Report 2003 (PDF 27kb)

Annual Report 2002 (PDF 24kb)

Annual Report 2001 (PDF 27kb)

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Rules Committee

The Rules Committee is a statutory body established by s51B of the Judicature Act 1908. It has responsibility for procedural rules in New Zealand's four main jurisdictions; the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and district courts.

The Committee is required by s51B of the Judicature Act to have 11 mandatory members: the Chief Justice; Chief High Court Judge; two other judges of the High Court appointed by the Chief Justice; the Chief District Court Judge; one other District Court judge appointed by the Chief Justice on the recommendation of the Chief District Court Judge; the Attorney-General; the Solicitor-General; the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Justice; and two barristers and solicitors nominated by the Council of the New Zealand Law Society and approved by the Chief Justice (s 51B(1)).

In addition the Chief Justice may appoint any other person to be a member for a special purpose. That person holds office during the pleasure of the Chief Justice (s51B(2)).

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