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Posts tagged ‘NZ law’

The court system in New Zealand

Different levels of the court system

  • Tribunals and authorities – No appeal, appeal to district court, appeal to the high court
  • District courts – Civil, criminal, youth, family, (also on the same level is employment court, environment court, maori land court and courts-martial appeal court
  • High court
  • Court of appeal – Used to appeal decisions from lower courts
  • Supreme court

Supreme court

  • Established in 2003 to replace privy council and identify New Zealand as an independent country
  • This is the last stop in our justice system
  • It contains a bench of 5 judges

Court of appeal

  • Founded in 1862 to try to offset costs of going to privy court (which was in england, shipping lawyers etc.)
  • It became a permanent fixture in 1957
  • Deals with appeals from the high court and serious criminal charges from the district court

High court

  • Established in 1841 but known as the supreme court until 1980
  • Specialises in the legality of the cases and conduct of other inferior court

District court

  • This has general jurisdiction for jury trials (where the sentence is less than life imprisonment), all summary criminal matters and civil actions up to the value of $200k
  • Family and youth courts are subdivisions of the district court

Other courts

These include

  • Employment court
  • Enviroment court
  • Maori land court
  • Youth court
  • The tribunal
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New Zealand Legal System tidbits

New Zealand has two types of law common and statute. Common law is based on England law while statute law has been created here.

A bill can be put forward by any member of parliament

A select committee is a cross section of parliament

There is no single constitutional document in NZ

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