46 years have passed since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 was enacted and it is 20 years since its provisions were extended to those living together as couples (but not married). It was, at its inception, much lauded as a new sort of “social legislation” both reflective of contemporary society and responsive to its fluidity. The essential scheme for the division of relationship property is now well-embedded in New Zealand’s social DNA – equal division of property reflecting the equal contribution of parties to a relationship. Yet around the edges of that broad and simple proposition legal battles continue to rage and the whole area of relationship property litigation continues, it seems, to expand exponentially (at least for those with the money to pursue the arguments that they regard as important). The initial flurry around compensation for economic disparity (s 15) may have passed and, in theory at least, the Supreme Court has had the last word on just where s 182 Family Proceedings Act 1980 fits in.
Yet still there is dissatisfaction and dispute. It would seem that the social equity goals underlying the Act are not being met. Hence the latest Law Commission review. And society continues to evolve so that, for example, the Supreme Court is now being asked to grapple with the issue of whether or not the Act was designed to extend to polyamorous relationships (and not merely confined to coupledom). I doubt that polyamory even crossed the mind of the legislators when crafting, and then refining, the statute.
In addition, problems associated with civil litigation have now firmly attached themselves to litigation under the Act, undeterred by the statutory admonition in s 1N of the Act to the effect that disputes should be resolved as inexpensively, simply and speedily as is consistent with justice. The chronic systemic delays in the Family Court are a further compounding issue.
The purpose of this programme is to highlight some of the contemporary issues and to provide, from practitioners of some note, insights and assistance.
Ngā mihiChair: Simon Jefferson QC, Trinity Chambers, Auckland
In this intensive you will be:
Family and property practitioners at all levels of experience will benefit from attending. Commercial/trust lawyers of all levels who wish to upskill will also benefit from attending.
*Live web stream attendees - if you select hard copy or both - your book will be couriered to you.
Registration - after 1 June 2022
|Live Web Stream||29 June|
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