Some Results So Far

AuthorCheryl Thompson-Barrow

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The advent of the final appellate and regional courts have brought in their wake the beginnings of what is expected to be a mother lode ofjurisprudential development for the particular countries and regions concerned.

New Zealand Supreme Court

In the experience of New Zealand, Justice Blanchard82 has assessed that for many years there were no more than six cases each year making their way to the Privy Council. Most civil cases, he advised, were commercial in nature, involved substantial sums of money and had no interest to anyone other than the parties involved in the litigation.

The conclusion to be drawn from this state of affairs was that the jurisprudence at the highest level had atrophied, and in some instances had become non-existent. Conversely, following the establishment of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 2004, a number of cases have been brought for determination before the said court, breathing new life into the system. Writing in February 2006, Justice Blanchard itemised some of them as described below.


R v Timoti [2006] 1 NZLR 323 - The role of the provocation defence in murder.

R v Sunguwan [2006] 1NZLR 730 - Error of defence counsel requiring setting aside guilty verdict.

R v Siloata [2005] 2 NZLR 145 - Requirement for jury unanimity.

R v Condon [2007] 1 NZLR 300 - When the denial or absence of defence counsel requires the ordering of a new trial.

R v Walsh [2006] NZSC 111 - The law of forgery and its relationship to electronically transmitted documents, particularly whether an electronically copy of a forged document is itself a forgery.

Property (land)

Bahramitash v Kumar [2006] 1 NZLR 577 - When the tender of money by a purchaser is required on completion of a land sale contract.

Otago Station Estates Ltd v Parker [2005] 2 NZLR 734 - The question of a deposit being paid by a personal cheque of the purchaser.

Family law

Secretary for Justice v HJ [2006] NZSC 97 - Interpretation of the Hague Convention where the application for a child's return is made, as an exception to the general rule, a year beyond the abduction.

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Human rights

Morgan v Superintendent, Rimutaka Prison [2005] 3 NZLR 1 - The question of whether a retrospective change by statute to parole conditions, after the commission of the crime but before conviction, is a prohibited change to the maximum term to which the convicted person can be sentenced.


Chirnside v Fay [2006] NZSC 68 - The fiduciary obligations of joint ventures and the calculation of damages for breach of duty.

Eastern Services Ltd v No 68 Ltd [2006] 3 NZLR 335 - The question of the application of laches for mere delay, but in an extended situation.

Environmental law

Discount Brands Ltd v Westfield (NZ) Ltd [2005] 2 NZLR 597 - Situations in which a developer can have an application for planning consent proceed without notification to potential objectors, thereby denying them participation in the process.

Civil procedure - appeal rights

Mafart v Television New Zealand Ltd [2006] 3 NZLR 18 - The question of whether an appeal lies from a decision of a judge to allow media access to a court file.

Taylor v Jones; Skelton v Jones [2006] NZSC 113 - Whether the Habeas Corpus Act 2001 allows for an appeal by someone...

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