Streamlining the New Zealand civil justice system : is it time for further reform? : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management (Dispute Resolution) at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This paper examines the state of the New Zealand civil justice system and questions whether it is time for further reform. It has been just over a century since the legal profession was urged by Dean Roscoe Pound to address the problems of delay and poor administration. Since that time things have become progressively worse. The demand on court resources has been ever increasing and may even be greater today than what they were in 1906. Failure to address these mounting pressures on the judicial system could eventually render the affective administration of justice impossible. World-wide civil justice systems have experienced numerous problems - such as delay, excessive cost and complexity. Overseas jurisdictions have already examined their civil justice systems and implemented reform. Previously, New Zealand has implemented some of the reforms found overseas, for example, case management systems. However, like the overseas jurisdictions, these reforms have limited success. This limited success led to the Law Commission proposing a complete change of the lower Court system. This paper discusses the reforms which overseas jurisdictions have implemented, previous reforms? of the New Zealand civil justice system and the Law Commissions proposed restructure of the courts. Finally, this paper recommends ways in which New Zealand could reform its civil justice system to ensure that it offers a cost effective, simple and speedy way to resolve disputes.