Last revised 26 March 2021
Representative proceedings workstream reactivated
The Committee has reactivated its workstream related to "codifying" the existing common law related to commencing and defending a representative proceeding within the High Court Rules 2016. The reactivation of this worksteam has been made possible by the Supreme Court's final disposition of the appeal in Southern Response Ltd v Ross  NZSC 126. The decision of the Court of Appeal in this matter, as approved by the Supreme Court, has significantly altered the common law. This has percipitated the need for the Committee to further consider its draft proposals for codification of the existing common law. The Committee anticipates agreeing the wording of draft amendments taking into account the decision in Ross at its meeting of 28 June 2020.
Reform of the costs regime: costs for lay-litigants
At its meeting of 30 November 2020, the Committee considered the 14 submissions received to its initial consultation paper on potential reforms to the costs regime. These reforms might affect the ability of litigants-in-person who successfully bring or defend a claim to obtain an award of costs.
The Committee has arrived at a preliminary view on a number of issues, but has identified that further consultation is required on some matters. A further consultation paper outlining the Committee's preliminary views, and asking for further input on some particularly contentious issues, will be published in the second quarter of 2021.
Please see the project page for further information, and a copy of the initial consultation paper.
Work continues on improving access to civil justice
The Committee's signficiant work programme examining how access to civil justice in the District and High Courts reached a significant milestone with the conclusion of the initial consultation process in late 2020. Details of this initial consultation process are available on the project page.
Over 400 pages of submissions were received from several dozen members of the legal profession, academics, representatives of community organisations, and members of the wider community. Copies of most of the submissions received in response to the Committee's initial consultation papers have been published on the project page.
The Committee has formulated its initial high-level response to the submissions received, and has identiifed that it is appropriate to consult further on this response. A consultation paper will be published in the second quarter of 2021.
High Court Amendment Rules 2020 promulgated
The High Court Amendment Rules 2020 came into force from 24 July 2020.
These amendment Rules made a number of minor technical changes to the Rules. Please see the explanatory note to the Amendment Rules (available at the above link) for further information.
Contempt of Court Amendment Rules promulgated
The High Court (Contempt of Court) Amendment Rules 2020 and District Court (Contempt of Court) Amendment Rules 2020 came into force from 26 August 2020.
These amendment rules implemented the Contempt of Court Act 2019, which came into force from that same day, in the civil jurisidctions of the High Court and District Court. Please see the explanatory note to the Amendment Rules (available at the above links) for further information.