New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Legal reforms bring Australian and New Zealand courts closer together

On 4 March Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and New Zealand Minister of Justice Simon Power announced reforms to ensure Trans-Tasman legal disputes can be resolved more effectively and at lower cost are close to completion.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) met in Wellington to discuss progress on a number of issues of mutual concern.

“This week, I introduced a bill into the Australian Parliament that amends the Trans-Tasman Proceedings legislation to mirror the equivalent New Zealand legislation passed in August last year,” said Mr McClelland.

“Under the new regime, litigation between parties located in Australia and New Zealand will become more like litigation between parties in the same country.

“The reform will streamline and simplify procedures for the service of process, the recognition and enforcement of judgments, obtaining and giving evidence and appearing remotely.

“Australia and New Zealand are in the final phase of implementing these reforms which will enhance cooperation in civil court proceedings between Australia and New Zealand.

“The reforms will help businesses and individuals resolve their Trans-Tasman legal disputes more efficiently, effectively and cheaply.”

Minister Power said the initiative is the result of an unprecedented level of cooperation between Australia and New Zealand.

“The implementation of the legislation is well advanced and I’m pleased with the excellent progress officials on both sides of the Tasman are making to bring the new regime into force at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

“The new regime will assist in simplifying trans-Tasman litigation and is another important step towards creating a single economic market between Australia and New Zealand.

“Both governments have worked closely to develop this regime and make sure it delivers the maximum benefits for individuals and businesses on both sides of the Tasman.”


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