Go to Database Directory || Go to Country Case Schedule || Go to Case Search Form

Sourced primarily from Margaret Greville, ďAn introduction to New Zealand Law & Legal Information 2002Ē with Privy Council news report update, dated 15 October 2003

Judicial organization in New Zealand (overview)

Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is in most cases New Zealandís court of final jurisdiction. This court sits in Wellington, New Zealandís capital.

Appeals still lie to the Privy Council (which sits in London) in some circumstances. The Privy Council has therefore effectively been New Zealandís highest court. However, a New Zealand Supreme Court is being established. The final few cases eligible for recourse to the Privy Council will be those heard by the Court of Appeal up to 1 January 2004.

High Court. Below the Court of Appeal, next down in the hierarchy is the High Court of New Zealand, with seats in main centers throughout the country.

District Court. Finally, in the general court system is the District Court, usually the court of first instance for most matters. These courts are to be found in most towns and cities of New Zealand.

The jurisdictions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal are spelled out in the Judicature Act 1908, last reprinted in 1988 (and very heavily amended since that date). The jurisdiction of the District Court is enacted in the District Courts Act 1947, last reprinted in 1992. For information on these subjects available on the Internet, go to <http://www.courts.govt.nz/courts/>.


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated October 21, 2003
Comments/Contributions