Judgment delivery expectations
Information relating to reserved judgments
The following information is published in accordance with s 170(3) of the Senior Courts Act 2016.
1. Indicative delivery times for judgments
(a) The Court will endeavour to deliver judgment in an appeal within six months from the last day of the hearing (or of the last hearing if there are more than one) or from the date of receipt of the last submission, if submissions are made after the hearing. However, this will not always be possible and the actual delivery time will depend on the degree of complexity of the issues that arise in the appeal and the other demands on the time of the judges who heard the appeal. On occasion the Court may advise the parties at or after the hearing that the judgment will take longer than six months to deliver due to the complexity of the issues or other pressing matters of the Court. The six month period does not include Court vacations. The Court expects that about 80% of such judgments will be delivered within this indicative delivery time.
(b) The Court will endeavour to deliver judgment in an application for leave to appeal or any other proceeding before the Court that is not an appeal within two months from the date of the hearing (in respect of an application for which the Court has conducted a hearing) or from the date of receipt of the last submission (in respect of an application that the Court has dealt with on the papers). The two-month period does not include Court vacations. The Court expects that about 90% of such judgments will be delivered within this indicative delivery time.
2. Inquiry about the status of reserved judgments
If a litigant or lawyer wishes to obtain information about the status of a reserved judgment in the Supreme Court in relation to a proceeding in which he or she has an interest, then an inquiry should be made to the Registrar by letter or email to SupremeCourt.SupremeCourt@justice.govt.nz. The inquirer should include the following details in the letter or email of inquiry:
1. The name of the proceeding and the case number.
2 The inquirer’s role in the proceedings (eg appellant/applicant/ respondent; legal representative for the appellant/applicant/ respondent).
3. The date on which the judgment was reserved (or, where there was no hearing, the date in which the last submissions were filed).
If the judgment has been outstanding for longer than the indicative delivery times set out above or, in any other case, there is a specific reason for the inquiry, the Registrar will alert the judges who heard the appeal or dealt with the application that an inquiry has been made. Following discussion with the presiding judge, the Registrar will pass on to the inquirer and other parties to the proceedings such information as the judges provide to the Registrar regarding the delivery of the judgment.
3. Report on delayed judgments
The Chief Justice will publish annually with the report of the workload of the Court at the end of each calendar year information about the number of judgments of the Court that the Chief Justice considers are outstanding beyond a reasonable time for delivery, in accordance with s 170(3)(b) of the Senior Courts Act. Between such reports, details of the dates on which judgments were reserved and the dates on which judgments are delivered can be obtained from the courtsofnz.govt.nz website, which lists all cases heard and all judgments delivered.
Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann
15 February 2021