COVID-19: Related judgments

The judgments below involve issues related to COVID-19.  Many are related to alert level restrictions.  This list will be updated as further judgments involving these issues are published.

Supreme Court

Citation / Summary / Link

Case name: David Simon Barton v R
Case number: SC 13/2020
Citation: [2020] NZSC 24 25 March 2020
Summary: Criminal Appeal - Application for leave to bring an appeal

PDF (351 KB) 

 Court of Appeal

Citation / Summary / Link
Case name: Borrowdale v Director-General of Health
Citation: [2020] NZCA 156 8 May 2020
Summary: Application for removal of judicial review proceeding challenging lockdown notices from High Court, and transfer to Court of Appeal, declined.
PDF (182 KB) 
Case name: Nottingham v Ardern
Citation: [2020] NZCA 144 4 May 2020
Summary: Court of Appeal dismisses appeal against High Court decision to refuse to issue writs of habeas corpus. The measures taken by the Government in response to COVID-19 have not detained the appellants. Judicial review is the appropriate procedure for the allegations of unlawfulness made. Interim name suppression declined.
PDF (236 KB) 

High Court

Citation / Summary / Link

Case name: Borrowdale v Director-General of Health
Citation: [2020] NZHC 2090 19 August 2020
Summary: High Court declares the requirement that New Zealanders stay at home for the 9 day period between 26 March and 3 April was justified, but unlawful. All other challenges to legality of early COVID-19 response fail.

Judgment and Media Release on JPI here
Case name: R v Tarrant CRI-2019-009-2468
Summary:
Sentencing of Brenton Harrison Tarrant to proceed under COVID-19 Alert level 2 – victims to have priority in courtrooms
Mander J Minute 18 August 2020 PDF (166 KB) 
Case name: Borrowdale v Director General of Health hearing 27 July 2020
Summary: Borrowdale v Director General of Health – Judicial Review Hearing
case synopsis: PDF (257 KB)
Case name: Graeme Robert Hattie v AG sued on behalf of Chris Hipkins in capacity as Minister of Health and Ors
Summary: Muir J vacates judicial review hearing and urges Director General of Health to urgently readdress terms of purported blanket suspension of compassionate leave from quarantine
Muir J Minute 8 July 2020 PDF (90 KB)
Case name: R v Tarrant CRI-2019-009-2468
Summary: High Court announces sentencing in Queen v Tarrant to commence Monday 24 August at Christchurch High Court: reasons
Mander J Minute 2 July 2020 PDF (153 KB) 

Case name: Christiansen v The Director-General of Health (reasons)
Citation: [2020] NZHC 887 4 May 2020 and [2020] NZHC 883 1 May 2020
Summary: Judicial review of DG's refusal to allow plaintiff to leave mandatory quarantine to visit father at end stage of life. Failure to consider compassionate grounds or exceptional circumstances justified interim relief to allow visit.
Reasons PDF (1.8 MB) Results PDF (40 KB)

Case name: Cama Products Ltd v Power Parts (2018) Ltd
Citation: [2020] NZHC 802 24 April 2020
Summary: Of relevance to the legal arrangements in place in response to COVID-19 is para [20].
Judgment available on Judicial Decisions Online
Case name: B v Ardern
Citation: [2020] NZHC 814 24 April 2020
Summary: Application for a writ of habeas corpus. Application declined.
PDF (212 KB) 
Case name: A v Ardern
Citation: [2020] NZHC 796 23 April 2020
Summary: Application for a writ of habeas corpus. Application declined.
PDF (216 KB) 
Case name: Hikaka v New Zealand Police
Citation: [2020] NZHC 716 7 April 2020
Summary: Driving offending, theft and breaching community detention and intensive supervision. Unsuccessful appeal from 19 months imprisonment. Home detention unsuitable. COVID-19 referred to as potentially relevant consideration.
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online
Case name: Environmental Protection Authority v BW Offshore Singapore Pte Ltd
Citation: [2020] NZHC 704 7 April 2020
Summary: Successful urgent application by EPA to stay Environment Court decision staying abatement notice. Notice prevented oil mining vessel from disconnecting from pipes and leaving New Zealand . Stay granted by the EC allowed disconnection to proceed. HC identified potential legal errors by EC: it did not consider when a notice could be issued for change in circumstances notwithstanding earlier decision; undue focus on legal ownership; risks of vessel being required to stay potentially overstated; and it could not safely conclude that disconnection would be risk neutral. Significant change in circumstances meant that a notice could be issued to allow fuller assessment of potential adverse effects.
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online  
Case name: Savill v AMFL Ltd
Citation: [2020] NZHC 655 25 March 2020
Summary: Application for without notice interim injunction to restrain mortgagee sale during period of COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. Application granted.
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online  
Case name: Prescott v New Zealand Government
Citation: [2020] NZHC 653 25 March 2020
Summary: Court declined to grant the writ of habeas corpus
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online 
Case name: R v Ekeroma and Fatu
Citation: [2020] NZHC 565 19 March 2020
Summary: Dismissal of further application to discharge jury in relation to COVID-19 developments: here, the Chief Justice's advice to practitioners.
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online  
Case name: R v Ekeroma and Fatu
Citation: [2020] NZHC 562 19 March 2020
Summary: Reasons for dismissal of application by defendant for discharge of the whole jury, per Juries Act 1981, s 22. The application arose amidst COVID-19 issues and focussed on ss 22(2)(a) and 22(3)(a). Counsel was concerned jurors would "rush to justice", in the face of such issues. One juror discharged due to potential illness per s 22(2)(a). Remaining jurors willing to continue. At time of judgment, a "casualty" or "emergency" was not constituted, trial fairness not jeopardised. Application dismissed.
Judgment: available on Judicial Decisions Online 

District Court  

Citation / Summary/ Link

Several cases are published on the District Court website,

Cases tag: COVID-19 DC website