08/05 Lecture 18: Statutory Interpretation and the Supreme Court
Development of our highest court: Supreme Court:
If cases are the same in terms of their facts, they should be treated the
The Electoral Integerity Act:
2004 NZ replaced the Privy Council, then our highest appellant court- not
held in our own country.
The Debate: highly controversial:
Not enough work
Loss of overseas investment (commercial confidence)
Insufficient pool of judicial talent: small size of pool from which
Social distance desirable: it is better to have our highest court
free from any possible influence of the fact that they have to live
as a judge with the decision they have to make. (Don’t have to
live in the society for which they are making decisions). Contre:
NZ judges have an idea of what is actually happening in NZ
society. (Judges in England thinking Maori live on ‘reservations’).
Treaty issues: breaking the final appeal court tie may not advance
Danger of ‘stacking’: First woman attorney general, at the time,
took committee of advisors (three governor generals) and
undertook in Parliament to go with the judiciary that they would
choose for their appellant court.
Judicial activism- legal ‘upheaval’
Extremely expensive- only a few cases may be seen a year due to
Section 3(2) Nothing in this Act affect’s New Zealand’s …
Applications and hearings per year have varied over time since 2004-
number of hearings depend upon whether the case comes under what is
appropriate to be heard by the court- defined under s 13.
13. Criteria for leave to appeal:
Court has to give permission for application to proceed.
(1) The Supreme Court must not give leave to appeal to it unless it is
satisfied that it is necessary … (2)
ELECTORAL ACT 1993: expired the 17 September 1995
Seat vacancy if:
Resignation (letter to Speaker)
Incapable of duties:
Conviction for crime carrying up to 2 years imprisonment
Becomes a public servant
Parliamentary dereliction (abandoning office)- member of
parliament just stopped coming.
RESIGNATION FROM A PARTY DID NOT TRIGGER A
VACANCY. Party list member could quit their party but continue as an
independent MP (even if the only reason they were elected was because of
ELECTORAL INTEGRITY AMENDMENT ACT 2001
Resignation from party triggers vacancy AND
Party itself can trigger vacancy based on member behaviour
(added during passage of Bill)
Sections 55A-D defines the process for declaring a seat is vacant.
Form of statement to be made by parliamentary leader to Speaker to
trigger a vacancy under s 55A:
(a) that the parliamentary leader reasonably believes that the member has
acted in a way that has distorted an