High Court

  • INTRODUCTION

    1.  Courts are an essential service. The High Court will remain open at all levels under the COVID‑19 Protection Framework (Protection Framework), to ensure access to justice.

    2.  This protocol sets out a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so. It sets out practices to be applied by the High Court under the Red, Orange or Green levels of the Protection Framework.  The primary considerations that underpin this protocol, and decisions under it, are the interests of justice and the protection of the health and safety of everyone in the court building.

    3.  This protocol applies subject to any directions given by the presiding judge in a particular case. The presiding judge may direct that requirements set out in this protocol do not apply in a particular case if the judge is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

    ENTRY TO COURT BUILDINGS

    4.  The following requirements apply to entry into court buildings:

    (i) A person may not enter the court building if they are showing signs of illness, or have a body temperature of 38 degrees or higher;

    (ii) A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to isolate may not enter the court building;

    (iii) A person who is a household contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 may not enter the court building unless they are authorised to do so as a critical worker;

    (iv) A person may not enter the court building unless they are wearing a surgical mask or a KN95 mask.[1] Masks will be provided at the entry to the court building for all those who do not have their own mask.

    5.  The Courts remain open to the public, but for health and safety reasons there may be limits on the number of people who are not directly involved in proceedings who are physically present in courtrooms and court buildings.

    6.  Every person in the public areas of a court building must wear a surgical mask or a KN95 mask at all times. A KN95 mask must be worn by all participants in jury trials, and by participants in any other hearings if the presiding judge so directs. 

    7.  All physical distancing requirements must be observed.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK RED LEVEL

    8.  High Court business will be conducted using remote participation technology, where that is practicable and is permitted by law.[2]

    9.  In-person hearings may take place if a Judge decides that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

    10. Notice of application to participate in person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    Criminal

    11. High Court criminal jury and judge-alone trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to enhanced health and safety measures including rapid antigen testing for jurors and other participants.

    12.  Sentencings, and arraignments of defendants who are on bail, will take place in person where appropriate with careful management to mitigate risk.

    13.  Criminal list courts will presumptively take place remotely.

    14.  The Court will deal with all other criminal work by remote means including first appearances, bail applications and appeals, custodial remands, conviction and sentence appeals, case review hearings, sentence indications, list courts and pre-trial matters, subject to the particular circumstances of an individual case which mean an in-person hearing would be in the interests of justice. [3]

    Civil

    15.  The Court will conduct as much of its usual civil business as reasonably possible by remote means, including habeas corpus applications, civil appeals, judicial review, summary judgments, interlocutory applications, urgent injunctions, caveat applications, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings, list courts, probate matters and originating applications.

    16.  Banco lists will presumptively take place in person with staggered start times where appropriate.

    17.  For all other matters, the question of whether the hearing takes place in person or by remote technology will be considered as part of a case management conference or, following a request from the relevant case officer, dealt with on the papers after receipt of counsel’s memoranda (whether joint or otherwise).

    18.  High Court civil jury trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to the same measures as criminal jury trials.

    19.  Sheriff proceedings can be filed and will be dealt with in the usual way.

    20.  New filings will be triaged according to priority.

    21.  Applications for probate will be accepted. General Registrar work will be carried out to the extent possible.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK ORANGE LEVEL

    22.  At the Orange level, the following matters are presumptively conducted by remote technology where permitted by law, and subject to the particular circumstances of an individual case which mean an in-person hearing would be in the interests of justice:[4]

    • Bail applications
    • Criminal Appeals
    • Consented applications which may require an order/decision in open court
    • Hearings of one day or less.

    23.  Notice of application to participate in person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    24.  All criminal jury trials and judge-alone trials will take place in person.

    25.  All civil jury trials will take place in person.

    26.  All sentencings, and arraignments of defendants who are on bail, will take place in person unless a judge directs otherwise.

    27.  Criminal and civil list courts, including banco lists, will take place in person unless a judge directs otherwise.

    28.  All other matters will take place in person unless a judge directs otherwise. A party may seek a direction that a matter that is presumptively to be conducted in person should be conducted using remote technology, where that is desirable in the interests of justice and to protect health and safety in the courts. 

    29.  Notice of application to participate in an in-person hearing by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    30.  Sheriff proceedings will be dealt with in the usual way.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK GREEN LEVEL

    31.  The presumption is that all criminal and civil matters will be conducted in person. A party may seek a direction that a matter that is presumptively to be conducted in person should be conducted using remote technology where that is desirable in the interests of justice and to protect health and safety in the courts. 

    32.  A party, counsel or other participant may apply to participate in a hearing by remote technology.[5] Particular consideration will be given to any health vulnerabilities, the distance that would otherwise have to be travelled, and the likely length and complexity of the hearing.

    33.  Notice of application to participate by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    GENERAL MEASURES

    Attending Court

    34.  Where participants attend Court:

    (i) List Courts will operate on a case by case call basis. Parties may be required to wait outside the courtroom until their case is called; 

    (ii) Witnesses required to attend Court should not enter the court building until just prior to their scheduled attendance;

    (iii) So far as possible, counsel should take instructions and brief witnesses at a different location from the court building. Rooms will be made available as far as practicable for interviews, and counsel may request breaks to take instructions safely using those facilities.

    35.  All participants attending Court for hearings longer than one day will be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), or confirm that they have taken a RAT, on each morning before the court hearing commences.  This requirement may also apply to participants attending court for hearings of half a day or longer, if the presiding judge so directs. The Registry will advise counsel and any party who is not legally represented of the arrangements for testing for their particular case.   If the hearing extends beyond one week, the presiding judge may direct that in the second and subsequent weeks, RAT testing is only required on the Monday and then on every second sitting day.

    36.  If participants are asked to take a RAT, and any participant declines to do so, the presiding Judge will determine whether and how the hearing will proceed.  If any participant tests positive, the presiding Judge will determine on a case by case basis whether and how the hearing may be able to continue.

    Jury trials

    37.  The Jury Trial Bubble Guidelines will apply to all jury trials. The Guidelines set out additional requirements concerning use of masks and RAT testing for participants in jury trials. 

    Jury Trial Bubble Guidelines

    Media access

    38.  Accredited news media will have entry to the Court in order to report court proceedings, and to ensure continued open and transparent justice. Remote access for accredited news media will continue to be facilitated in accordance with current protocols.

    Remote participation and viewing

    39.  The Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings will apply to any hearings involving remote participants:

    Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings

    40.  The Protocol for Remote Viewings of Hearings governs media and public access to hearings:

    Protocol for Remote Viewing of Hearings

    Health and safety

    41.  The following health and safety measures can be expected in the court building:

    (i) Cleaning products are available on site to enable staff and lawyers to keep their immediate areas clean (including AVL suites);

    (ii) Hand sanitiser will be readily available within the courtroom.

    42.  Any concerns about health and safety in the Court should be raised with the Court Manager (sole High Court) or the Manager Justice Services (combined Court) in the first instance.

    Expectations of Counsel

    43.  Counsel are expected to assist the Court by:

    (a)  Briefing clients and witnesses on the court building entry requirements and RAT testing requirements set out in paragraphs 4-7 and 35-36

    (b)  Reducing unnecessary attendance in the court building by counsel, their clients and witnesses by reviewing each attendance in advance and:

    (i) Seeking remote participation in appropriate cases;

    (ii) Seeking excusals from appearances in administrative hearings; and

    (iii) Limiting the number of witnesses via the use of agreed facts.

    (c)  Counsel should consider and endeavour to agree whether it is appropriate for any witness to participate remotely and advise the Court of any such proposals well in advance of the hearing date. The relevant provisions, r 3.4A of the High Court Rules 2016, the Evidence Act 2006, and the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, will govern whether and how any witness may give evidence remotely.  Also refer to the Guidelines for Remote Participation by Witnesses in Criminal Hearings.

    Filing and filing fees

    44.  Documents may be filed electronically, by post, courier or in person. Counters will be open.  Address details are contained in Addendum 1. 

    45.  Filing Fees will be payable. Rule 5.1B(2) of the High Court Rules provides for payment of filing fees by alternative means, including at the Registrar’s discretion, credit card, electronic banking or solicitor’s undertaking.  [Link to Rules 5.1A and 5.1B] An online “file and pay” system is available. Courts of New Zealand file and pay


    ADDENDUM 1

     

    Addresses for filing electronically and by mail

     

    All electronic filing is to be to the following addresses:   

     

    Auckland High Court:            aucklandhc@justice.govt.nz

    Hamilton High Court             hamilton.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Rotorua High Court               rotorua.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Tauranga High Court             tauranga.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Wellington High Court:          wellingtonhc@justice.govt.nz

    Christchurch High Court:      christchurchhc@justice.govt.nz

      

    If any party wishes to contact the Court regarding an urgent matter, use the above email addresses.

     

    All filing by mail is to be to these addresses:

    Auckland High Court:            PO Box 60, Auckland

    Wellington High Court:         PO Box 1091 or DX SX11199, Wellington

    Christchurch High Court:     20 Lichfield Street, Christchurch or DX WX10021, Christchurch

     

    [1] 

    (i)    All references to KN95 masks include references to masks of an equivalent standard such as P2 masks.
    (ii)   People who have a mask exemption card issued by the Ministry of Health will not be   required to wear a mask.
    (iii)   A Judge may permit a participant in a hearing to remove their mask when speaking.

    [2]   See also Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [3]   See also the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [4]   For relevant factors see the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [5]   For relevant factors see the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

     

    High Court operations under Covid-19 Protection Framework, effective from 26 April 2022 (PDF, 132 KB)

  • High Court operations under Covid-19 Protection Framework

    Chief High Court Judge Susan Thomas

    Effective from 5 April 2022

     

    1.  This Protocol sets out practices to be applied by the High Court under the COVID‑19 Protection Framework (Protection Framework) Red, Orange or Green level.

    2.  Courts are an essential service. The High Court will remain open at all three levels under the Protection Framework, to ensure access to justice. This protocol sets out a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so.  The primary considerations that underpin this protocol, and decisions under it, are the interests of justice and the protection of the health and safety of everyone in the Court building.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK RED LEVEL

    3.  High Court business will be conducted to the extent possible by remote participation including AVL or other remote means.

    4.  In-person hearings may take place if a Judge decides that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

    5.  Notice of application to participate in person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    Criminal

    6.  High Court criminal jury and judge-alone trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to enhanced health and safety measures including rapid antigen testing for jurors and other participants.

    7.  Sentencings, and arraignments of those defendants who are on bail, will take place in person where appropriate with careful management to mitigate risk.

    8.  Criminal list courts will presumptively take place remotely.

    9.  The Court will deal with all other criminal work by remote means including first appearances, bail applications and appeals, custodial remands, conviction and sentence appeals, case review hearings, sentence indications, list courts and pre-trial matters.[1]

    Civil

    10.  The Court will conduct as much of its usual civil business as reasonably possible by remote means, including habeas corpus, civil appeals, judicial review, summary judgments, interlocutory applications, urgent injunctions, caveat applications, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings, list courts, probate matters and originating applications.

    11.  Banco lists will presumptively take place in person with staggered start times where appropriate.

    12.  For all other matters, the question of whether the hearing takes place in person or by remote technology will be considered as part of a case management conference or, following a request from the relevant case officer, dealt with on the papers after receipt of counsel’s memoranda (whether joint or otherwise).

    13.  High Court civil jury trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to the same measures as criminal jury trials as outlined in paragraph 6.

    14.  Sheriff proceedings can be filed and will be dealt with in the usual way.

    15.  New filings will be triaged according to priority.

    16.  Applications for probate will be accepted. General Registrar work will be carried out to the extent possible.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK ORANGE LEVEL

    17.  At the Orange level, the following matters are presumptively conducted by remote technology (subject to the particular circumstances of an individual case which mean an in-person hearing would be in the interests of justice):[2]

    • Bail applications
    • Criminal Appeals
    • Consented applications which may require an order/decision in open court

    18.  Notice of application to participate in person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    19.  All sentencings, and arraignments of those defendants who are on bail, will presumptively take place in person.

    20.  Criminal and civil list courts, including banco lists, will presumptively take place in person.

    21.  High Court civil jury trials will take place.

    22.  For all other matters, the question of whether the hearing takes place in person or by remote technology will be considered as part of a case management conference or, following a request from the relevant case officer, dealt with on the papers after receipt of counsel’s memoranda (whether joint or otherwise).

    23.  Sheriff proceedings will be dealt with in the usual way.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK GREEN LEVEL

    24.  The presumption is that all criminal and civil matters will be conducted in person.

    25.  Counsel and parties may apply to participate in a hearing by approved remote technology. Particular consideration will be given to any health vulnerabilities of participants, the distance that would otherwise have to be travelled and the likely length and complexity of the hearing.

    26.  Notice of application to participate by remote technology must be given at least ten working days prior to the hearing.

    MEASURES APPLYING AT ALL PROTECTION FRAMEWORK LEVELS

    Attending Court

    27.  Where participants attend Court:

    (i) List Courts will operate on a case by case call basis. Parties may be required to wait outside the courtroom until their case is called; 

    (ii) Witnesses required to attend Court should not enter the courthouse until just prior to their scheduled attendance;

    (iii) So far as possible, counsel should take instructions and brief witnesses at a different location from the courthouse. Rooms will be made available as far as practicable for interviews, and counsel may request breaks to take instructions safely using those facilities.

    28.  All participants attending Court for hearings longer than one day may be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on each morning before the Court hearing commences, unless the presiding judge directs that this is not required.[3] This requirement may also apply to participants attending court for hearings of half a day or longer, if the presiding judge so directs. The Registry will advise counsel and any party who is not legally represented of the arrangements for testing for their particular case.  If participants are asked to take a RAT, and any participant declines to do so, the presiding Judge will determine whether and how the hearing will proceed.  If any participant tests positive, the presiding Judge will determine on a case by case basis whether and how the hearing may be able to continue.

    Jury trials

    29.  The Jury Trial Bubble Guidelines will apply to all jury trials. The Guidelines set out additional requirements concerning use of masks and RAT testing for participants in jury trials. 

    Jury Trial Bubble Guidelines

    Media access

    30.  Accredited news media will have entry to the Court in order to report Court proceedings, and to ensure continued open and transparent justice. Remote access for accredited news media will continue to be facilitated in accordance with current protocols.

    Remote participation and viewing

    31.  The following Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings will apply to any hearings involving remote participants:

    Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings

    32.  The Protocol for Remote Viewings of Hearings governs media and public access to hearings:

    Protocol for Remote Viewing of Hearings

    Health and safety

    33.  The Courts remain open to the public, but for health and safety reasons there may be limits on the number of people who are not directly involved in proceedings who are physically present in courtrooms and Court buildings. All physical distancing requirements must be observed.

    34.  Subject to the notes set out below[4], and the over-riding discretion of the presiding Judge:

    (i) Court attendees must wear a surgical mask or a KN95 (or equivalent) mask at all times within the court precincts.

    (ii) All participants in jury trials and other proceedings considered by the presiding Judge to be high risk must wear a KN95 (or equivalent) mask at all times within the court precincts. These will be provided. 

    35.  The following health and safety measures can be expected in the courthouse:

    (i) Access will be denied to anyone who is showing signs of illness, or has a body temperature of 38 degrees or higher;

    (ii) Access will be denied to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to isolate, or who is a household contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19;

    (iii) Surgical masks will be provided at the entry to the courthouse for all those who do not have their own mask.

    (iv) Cleaning products are available on site to enable staff and lawyers to keep their immediate areas clean (including AVL suites);

    (v) Hand sanitiser will be readily available within the courtroom.

    36.  Any concerns about health and safety in the Court should be raised with the Court Manager (sole High Court) or the Manager Justice Services (combined Court) in the first instance.

    Expectations of Counsel

    37.  Counsel are expected to assist the Court by:

    (a)  Briefing clients and witnesses on the health and safety measures in the courthouse as outlined in paragraphs 33 - 35.

    (b)  Reducing the need for attendance in the courthouse by counsel, their clients and witnesses by reviewing each attendance in advance and:

    (i) Seeking remote participation in appropriate cases;

    (ii) Seeking excusals from appearances in administrative hearings; and

    (iii) Limiting the number of witnesses via the use of agreed facts.

    (c)  Counsel should consider and endeavour to agree whether it is appropriate for any witness to participate remotely and advise the Court of any such proposals well in advance of the hearing date. The relevant provisions, r 3.4A of the High Court Rules 2016, the Evidence Act 2006, and the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, will govern whether and how any witness may give evidence remotely.  Also refer to the Guidelines for Remote Participation by Witnesses in Criminal Hearings.

    Filing and filing fees

    38.  Documents may be filed electronically, by post, courier or in person. Counters will be open.  Address details are contained in Addendum 1. 

    39.  Filing Fees will be payable. Rule 5.1B(2) of the High Court Rules provides for payment of filing fees by alternative means, including at the Registrar’s discretion, credit card, electronic banking or solicitor’s undertaking.  [Link to Rules 5.1A and 5.1B] An online “file and pay” system is available.


    ADDENDUM 1

    Addresses for filing electronically and by mail

    All electronic filing is to be to the following addresses:   

     

    Auckland High Court:            aucklandhc@justice.govt.nz

    Hamilton High Court             hamilton.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Rotorua High Court               rotorua.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Tauranga High Court             tauranga.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Wellington High Court          wellingtonhc@justice.govt.nz

    Christchurch High Court       christchurchhc@justice.govt.nz

    If any party wishes to contact the Court regarding an urgent matter, use the above email addresses.

    All filing by mail is to be to these addresses:

    Auckland High Court:             PO Box 60, Auckland

    Wellington High Court:          PO Box 1091 or DX SX11199, Wellington

    Christchurch High Court:      20 Lichfield Street, Christchurch or DX WX10021, Christchurch

     

    [1]       See also Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [2]       See also Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [3]       This will be rolled out to all courts, but will not be in place in some courts as at 5 April 2022. 

    [4]        (i)    People who have a mask exemption card issued by the Ministry of Health will not be required to wear a mask.

                 (ii)        Leave may be given to court attendees to remove their mask when speaking.

     

     

     

  • High Court operations under Covid-19 Protection Framework

    Chief High Court Judge Susan Thomas

    Effective from 14 February 2022

    1.  This Protocol sets out practices to be applied by the High Court under the COVID‑19 Protection Framework (Protection Framework) Red, Orange or Green level.

    2.  Courts are an essential service. The High Court will remain open at all three levels under the Protection Framework, to ensure access to justice. This protocol sets out a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so.  The primary considerations that underpin this protocol, and decisions under it, are the interests of justice and the protection of the health and safety of everyone in the Court building.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK RED LEVEL

    3.  High Court business will be conducted to the extent possible by remote participation including AVL or other remote means.

    4.  In-person hearings may take place if a Judge decides that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

    5.  Notice of application to participate in-person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    Criminal

    6.  High Court criminal jury and judge-alone trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to enhanced health and safety measures including rapid antigen testing for jurors and other participants.

    7.  Sentencings, and arraignments of those defendants who are on bail, will take place in-person where appropriate with careful management to mitigate risk.

    8.  Criminal list courts will presumptively take place remotely.

    9.  The Court will deal with all other criminal work by remote means including first appearances, bail applications and appeals, custodial remands, conviction and sentence appeals, case review hearings, sentence indications, list courts and pre-trial matters.[1]

    Civil

    10.  The Court will conduct as much of its usual civil business as reasonably possible by remote means, including habeas corpus, civil appeals, judicial review, summary judgments, interlocutory applications, urgent injunctions, caveat applications, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings, list courts, probate matters and originating applications.

    11.  Banco lists will presumptively take place in person with staggered start times where appropriate.

    12.  For all other matters, the question of whether the hearing is in-person or by remote technology will be considered as part of a case management conference or, following a request from the relevant case officer, dealt with on the papers after receipt of counsel’s memoranda (whether joint or otherwise).

    13.  High Court civil jury trials will commence as scheduled and will be subject to the same measures as criminal jury trials as outlined in paragraph 6.

    14.  Sheriff proceedings can be filed and will be dealt with in the usual way.

    15.  New filings will be triaged according to priority.

    16.  Applications for probate will be accepted. General Registrar work will be carried out to the extent possible.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK ORANGE LEVEL

    17.  At the Orange level, the following matters are presumptively conducted by remote technology (subject to the particular circumstances of an individual case which mean an in-person hearing would be in the interests of justice):[2]

    • Bail applications
    • Criminal Appeals
    • Consented applications which may require an order/decision in open court

    18.  Notice of application to participate in person at hearings presumptively conducted by remote technology must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

    19.  All sentencings, and arraignments of those defendants who are on bail, will presumptively take place in-person.

    20.  Criminal and civil list courts, including banco lists, will presumptively take place in-person.

    21.  High Court civil jury trials will take place.

    22.  For all other matters, the question of whether the hearing is in-person or by remote technology will be considered as part of a case management conference or, following a request from the relevant case officer, dealt with on the papers after receipt of counsel’s memoranda (whether joint or otherwise).

    23.  Sheriff proceedings will be dealt with in the usual way.

    PROTECTION FRAMEWORK GREEN LEVEL

    24.  The presumption is that all criminal and civil matters will be conducted in-person.

    25.  Counsel and parties may apply to participate in a hearing by approved remote technology. Particular consideration will be given to any health vulnerabilities of participants, the distance that would otherwise have to be travelled and the likely length and complexity of the hearing.

    26.  Notice of application to participate by remote technology must be given at least ten working days prior to the hearing.

    MEASURES APPLYING AT ALL PROTECTION FRAMEWORK LEVELS

    Access to the Court

    27.  Persons attending Court must:[3]

    (i) Show a vaccine pass; or

    (ii) Provide evidence of a negative PCR test administered within 48 hours of attendance; or

    (iii) Provide evidence of a negative rapid antigen test administered within 24 hours of attendance.[4]

    Defendants

    28.  Where a defendant in the criminal jurisdiction does not meet the requirements in paragraph 27:

    (i) A separate facility may be made available in another part of the courthouse to enable remote participation for all appearances other than their trial[5] or an in-person appearance will be scheduled at a time which allows additional health and safety measures to be implemented.

    (ii) The defendant’s entitlement to be physically present in the courtroom for their trial remains unchanged. Additional health and safety measures will be implemented.  All defendants will be required, however, to comply with the health and safety requirements set out at paragraph 37 below, together with any other health and safety directives that may be given by the Registrar or presiding Judge.  Defendants who are not in custody must also comply with the requirement at paragraph 35

    Jurors

    29.  Those summoned for jury service who do not meet the requirements in paragraph 27 will be subject to separate arrangements with appropriate health and safety measures put in place.

    Counsel and all other participants

    30.  If counsel, party or other participant know they will not meet the requirements in paragraph 27, they are to advise the Court at least 10 working days prior to the hearing so the means of participation can be considered and, if appropriate, arrangements will be made for remote participation. Refer to paragraph 41(c) and (d) below for provisions regarding the attendance of witnesses.

    Attending Court

    31.  Where participants attend Court:

    (i) List Courts will operate on a case by case call basis. Parties may be required to wait outside the courtroom until their case is called; 

    (ii) Witnesses required to attend Court should not enter the courthouse until just prior to their scheduled attendance;

    (iii) So far as possible, counsel should take instructions and brief witnesses at a different location from the courthouse. Rooms will be made available as far as practicable for interviews, and counsel may request breaks to take instructions safely using those facilities.

    Media access

    32.  Accredited news media will have entry to the Court in accordance with the requirements in paragraph 27 above in order to report Court proceedings, and to ensure continued open and transparent justice. Remote access for accredited news media will continue to be facilitated in accordance with current protocols. Media representatives must introduce themselves to the judge when they are present at any hearing.

    Remote participation and viewing

    33.  The following Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings will apply to any hearings involving remote participants:

    Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings

    34.  The Protocol for Remote Viewings of Hearings governs media and public access to hearings:

    Protocol for Remote Viewing of Hearings

    Health and safety

    35.  Persons entering the Court building must register their attendance by scanning the QR code or by entering their details on a list maintained by the Registrar (or court taker, in the case of counsel).

    36.  The Courts remain open to the public, but for health and safety reasons there may be limits on the number of people who are not directly involved in proceedings who are physically present in courtrooms and Court buildings. All physical distancing requirements must be observed.

    37.  Subject to the notes set out below[6], and the over-riding discretion of the presiding Judge:

    (i) Vaccinated court attendees and unvaccinated court attendees who have provided a negative COVID-19 test must wear a cloth mask, surgical mask or a KN95 (or equivalent) mask at all times within the court precincts.

    (ii) Unvaccinated court attendees who have not provided a negative COVID-19 test result, and all participants in jury trials and other proceedings considered by the presiding Judge to be high risk must wear a KN95 (or equivalent) mask at all times within the court precincts. These will be provided. 

    38.  The following health and safety measures can be expected in the courthouse:

    (i) Access will be denied to anyone who is showing signs of illness, or has a body temperature of 38 degrees or higher, or has had close-contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19;

    (ii) Surgical masks will be provided at the entry to the courthouse for all those who do not have their own mask.

    (iii) Cleaning products are available on site to enable staff and lawyers to keep their immediate areas clean (including AVL suites);

    (iv) Hand sanitiser will be readily available within the courtroom.

    39.  Any concerns about health and safety in the Court should be raised with the Court Manager (sole High Court) or the Manager Justice Services (combined Court) in the first instance.

    40.  In the event of community transmission within a courthouse catchment area, public health advice will be taken and further directions given.

    Expectations of Counsel

    41.  Counsel are expected to assist the Court by:

    a.  Advising the Court at an early stage if they become aware that alternative measures are likely to be required for their client’s attendance at trial because they do not meet the requirements set out in paragraph 27

    b.  Briefing clients and witnesses on the health and safety measures in the courthouse as outlined in paragraphs 35 - 38.

    c.  Reducing the need for attendance in the courthouse by counsel, their clients and witnesses by reviewing each attendance in advance and:

    (i) Seeking remote participation in appropriate cases;

    (ii) Seeking excusals from appearances in administrative hearings; and

    (iii) Limiting the number of witnesses via the use of agreed facts.

    d.  Counsel should consider and endeavour to agree whether it is appropriate for any witness to participate remotely and advise the Court of any such proposals well in advance of the hearing date. This should include consideration of any witness unable to attend Court by reason of the requirements set out in paragraph 27  The relevant provisions, r 3.4A of the High Court Rules 2016, the Evidence Act 2006, and the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, will govern whether and how any witness may give evidence remotely.  Also refer to the Guidelines for Remote Participation by Witnesses in Criminal Hearings.

    Filing and filing fees

    42.  Documents may be filed electronically, by post, courier or in person. Counters will be open.  Address details are contained in Addendum 1. 

    43.  Filing Fees will be payable. Rule 5.1B(2) of the High Court Rules provides for payment of filing fees by alternative means, including at the Registrar’s discretion, credit card, electronic banking or solicitor’s undertaking.  [Link to Rules 5.1A and 5.1B] An online “file and pay” system is available. Courts of New Zealand file and pay

    ADDENDUM 1

    Addresses for filing electronically and by mail

    All electronic filing is to be to the following addresses:   

    Auckland High Court:            aucklandhc@justice.govt.nz

    Hamilton High Court              hamilton.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Rotorua High Court               rotorua.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Tauranga High Court             tauranga.hc@justice.govt.nz

    Wellington High Court:          wellingtonhc@justice.govt.nz

    Christchurch High Court:       christchurchhc@justice.govt.nz

    If any party wishes to contact the Court regarding an urgent matter, use the above email addresses.

    All filing by mail is to be to these addresses:

     

    Auckland High Court:            PO Box 60, Auckland

    Wellington High Court:          PO Box 1091 or DX SX11199, Wellington

    Christchurch High Court:       20 Lichfield Street, Christchurch or DX WX10021, Christchurch

     

    [1]         See also Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [2]          See also Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010, ss 5 and 6.

    [3]          Nothing in this protocol will prevent the attendance at court of any person required to attend Court, for example pursuant to a summons, legislative requirement or judicial direction, who does not meet the requirements in paragraph 27.  Appropriate health and safety measures will be put in place.

    [4]          The Ministry of Justice will meet the cost of the rapid antigen test for any person required to attend Court, for example pursuant to a summons, legislative requirement or judicial direction.

    [5]          Subject to any determination pursuant to ss 8 or 9 of the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010

    [6]      (i)    People who have a mask exemption card issued by the Ministry of Health will not be required to wear a mask.

               (ii)   Leave may be given to court attendees to remove their mask when speaking.