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NZ Supreme Court Insights

“The welfare of the people is the supreme law.” -Cicero

 
  • Kingmaker Finlayson

    Kingmaker Finlayson

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    The most prolific litigant in New Zealand is also the sole appointer of New Zealand judges and his touch is having a profound effect on the nation’s jurisprudence. The New Zealand Attorney-General appoints every judge in a secret process which recommends he consult with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but notably entails no public vetting or confirmation and no public record of his/her considerations. Since 2008, that person has been Attorney-General Chris Finlayson (pictured). The upshot is Mr Finlayson has personally appointed all but one of the current Supreme Court judges (sans Sian Elias CJ), all of the 10 Court of Appeal judges and 33 of the 46 High Court judges.  By any measure it is an unprecedented […]

     
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  • Judge Discretion in NZ Mocks Procedural Rules

    Judge Discretion in NZ Mocks Procedural Rules

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    A judicial review of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner’s refusal to consider the merits of a complaint against five Supreme Court judges subverting due process and keeping their actions off the record was summarily struck out on 20 December in the Wellington High Court. The complaint alleged five Supreme Court judges committed misconduct by meeting secretly on their own initiative to change court record access law on issues not before any court, without notice to or hearing from anyone, in a functus officio capacity (i.e. after the appeal had been conclusively decided).   These facts are not disputed. In September Commissioner Alan Ritchie held he lacked jurisdiction to consider the complaint because s8(2) of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Panel Act 2004 […]

     
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  • Story Book Justice at Supreme Court

    Story Book Justice at Supreme Court

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    When the average leave dismissal judgment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand is less than 4 pages long, something smells funny when a Supreme Court judge issues a 6 page judgment to dismiss an application for waiver of the filing fee. This week Justice Ellen France wove a six page story to dismiss an application for waiver of the filing fee made on public importance grounds.  Not that readers could pick out the matter of public importance from France’s judgment.  This gem was well hidden at paragraph [20] before the Judge did a side step which crossed the line from disingenuousness to dishonour at [21].  In short, the Court of Appeal had terminated an appeal when legal aid was still […]

     
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  • Shhupreme  Court of New Zealand News

    Shhupreme Court of New Zealand News

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    In the truth is stranger than fiction department, the Supreme Court has secretly nullified section 28 (3) of the Supreme Court Act 2003 which provides a right of review against rulings by single Supreme Court judges.  Further underscoring the laws NZ judges apply differently to themselves, their secret nullification came on the heels of last month’s ruling Erceg v Erceg where they ruled Supreme Court of New Zealand proceedings (as it affects parties seeking similar secrecy) must follow the principle of open justice which they reasoned provides a discipline upon judges to be transparent, describing open justice as “an almost priceless inheritance” and “a principle of constitutional importance”. The Supreme Court Act 2003 is the defining piece of legislation which binds […]

     
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  • New Zealand’s Latest Idealistic Kiwi

     
  • Different Law Applies To New Zealand Judges

     
  • End Of An Era At The Supreme Court

     
  • Supreme Mystery Surrounds Rare Court Order

     
  • Supreme Court Gets ‘Practical’

     
  • Supreme Court of New Zealand Ups the Ante for Justice

     
 
 
 
 
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