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Update on District Court Rules and Procedures

NZ $17.50
This book is only available in PDF format
Author(s): His Honour Judge Jeremy Doogue, David Laurenson
Published: 26 February, 2001
Pages: 30



This seminar is concerned with two separate but related subjects. One part consists of consideration of the changes that will be made to the District Courts rules with the coming into effect of the District Courts amendment rules 2001. The second part of the seminar is concerned with the new civil case management practice note that will come into effect on 1 March 2001. The two parts are discrete but they have in common the fact that they will change the way in which civil litigation is conducted in the District Courts from this year forward.

The last substantial overhaul of the District Courts rules took place in 1992 when a committee which was chaired by Justice Barker and which comprised representatives of the profession and departmental officials, reviewed the existing rules. The 1992 review resulted in the insertion of the summary judgment procedure into the rules of the District Courts. In 1999 the Rules Committee was given statutory authority for the first time to make rules for the District Courts by amendment to s 51B of the Judicature Act 1908. Once it had acquired responsibility for the District Courts rules, the Rules Committee determined that the District Courts rules should be amended where necessary so that they converged to the maximum extent possible with the High Court rules. It also decided that a systematic review of the District Courts rules was required. A review committee comprising two District Courts Judges and one High Court Judge , with assistance from research counsel and a parliamentary draft person, carried out a review of the rules. The method followed was to consider all changes that had been made to be High Court rules in the intervening years since 1992 and determine whether or not changes that had been made to the High Court rules should be incorporated into the District Courts rules. The review committee reported to the rules committee, and the Rules Committee in turn adopted the changes that take appear in the District Courts Amendment Rules 2000 which will come into force 1 March 2001.

The subcommittee decided that it was not possible to finalise new rules relating to costs and arrangements similar to those which have been adopted in the High Court rules should be introduced into the District Courts rules in due course. Once consultation with the interested parties is complete, it is likely that a new section on costs will be introduced to the rules.

As well as recommending the adoption by the District Courts of the changes that had been made to the High Court rules, the subcommittee in fact found one of two instances where the High Court rules could benefit from further modification. In due course modification will probably be made to the rules in question.


Content outline

  • The rules
    • Amendment rule from 5 - 28
  • Case management practice note
View contents page

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