Auckland District Courts centralisation proposals – NZLS submission

The New Zealand Law Society is working closely with ADLS Inc as each prepares a submission on a proposed new service delivery model for Auckland District Courts that would see District Courts resources managed on a regional basis with specialised teams providing case management, case processing and counter services.

The Ministry of Justice discussion document envisages that civil, family and other specialised services will be managed from two hubs at the Auckland and Manukau District Courts, with longer hearings of cases heard in those courts. 

Civil case management services would be based at the Auckland District Court, and Family Courts case management would be based at both the Manukau and Auckland District Courts. Staff managing and processing cases would not deal face to face with stakeholders, but would work through counter staff.

Longer term, the ministry proposes a targeted property investment programme for the development of courthouse facilities. It says the proposals will also take advantage of national initiatives, such as the Criminal Procedure Simplification reform, and electronic court record and case filing.

The discussion document calls for submissions by 20 May but, following representations to the ministry, the NZLS and ADLSi have been given until 25 May to lodge submissions.

The Society’s Courthouse Committee and the Family Law Section are preparing the Society’s submission. Lawyers interested in commenting on these issues for consideration in developing the Society’s submissions can send their comments to Julie Smith, julie.smith@lawsociety.org.nz or Kath Moran, family@lawsociety.org.nz.

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