Judicature Act 1908

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Reprint as at 1 July 2015

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Judicature Act 1908

Public Act
1908 No 89
Date of assent
4 August 1908
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title, etc
3Supreme Court reconstituted as High Court
4The Judges of the High Court
4AChief High Court Judge
4BFunctions of Chief High Court Judge
4CJudges of High Court act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time
5Senior Judge to act as Chief Justice in certain circumstances [Repealed]
6Judges to be barristers or solicitors
7Commissions of Judges to continue during good behaviour [Repealed]
8Judges may be removed or suspended on address of both Houses of Assembly to the Queen [Repealed]
9Governor may suspend Judge when Parliament not sitting [Repealed]
9ASalaries and allowances of Judges
10Salaries of Judges not to be diminished [Repealed]
11Temporary Judges
11AFormer Judges
11BCertificate by Chief Justice and Chief High Court Judge
12Superannuation allowance of Judges [Repealed]
13Age of retirement
14Rights on retirement before attaining retiring age
15How superannuation allowances of the existing Judges to be computed [Repealed]
16General jurisdiction
16APower to award damages as well as, or in substitution for, injunction or specific performance
17Jurisdiction as to mentally disordered persons, etc
17AJurisdiction as to liquidation of associations
17BApplication of Companies Act 1993
17CMeaning of inability to pay debts
17DPower of liquidator to enforce liabilities
17EActions stayed on liquidation
18No jurisdiction in cases of felonies or misdemeanours committed prior to 14 January 1840
19Powers of the court may be exercised by 1 or more Judges
19ACertain civil proceedings may be tried by jury
19BAll other civil proceedings to be tried before Judge alone, unless court otherwise orders
19CQuestions of foreign law to be decided by Judge
20Governor in Council may divide New Zealand into districts [Repealed]
21Actions and proceedings to be taken in the district prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure [Repealed]
22How applications to be made when Judge absent or unable to act [Repealed]
23Governor-General may appoint special sittings
23AOffices of the High Court
24Registrar may act for Judge in certain cases [Repealed]
24AEstablishment of commercial list
24BProceedings eligible for commercial list
24CCommercial list Judges
24DDirections for speedy determination of real questions in proceedings on commercial list
24EAgreement not to appeal
24FProceedings not to be tried by jury
24GRestriction of right of appeal from interlocutory decisions
25Administrative Division of the High Court [Repealed]
26Jurisdiction of Administrative Division [Repealed]
26ALay members or assessors in certain cases [Repealed]
26BRules relating to Administrative Division [Repealed]
26CAppointment of Associate Judges
26DAssociate Judges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time
26EVacation of office
26FSalaries and allowances of Associate Judges
26GSuperannuation or retiring allowances of Associate Judges
26HTemporary Associate Judges
26IAssociate Judge may exercise certain powers of the court
26IAAncillary powers of Associate Judge
26IBJudge or Associate Judge may, by video link, preside at hearing of specified matters
26JPower to make rules conferring specified jurisdiction and powers of Judge in chambers on Associate Judges
26KPower of Associate Judge to deal with witnesses and to punish for contempt
26LAssociate Judge to have no power to make order for committal, attachment, or arrest
26MAssociate Judge may act as referee
26NTransfer of proceedings from Associate Judge to Judge
26OPower of Associate Judge to adjourn proceedings
26PReview of, or appeals against, decisions of Associate Judges
26QImmunity of Associate Judges
26RJurisdiction of Judge not affected
27Appointment of officers
28Powers of Registrars
29Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs
30Sheriff’s oath [Repealed]
31Sureties may withdraw [Repealed]
32Duties, etc, of Sheriffs
33Sheriff to act as Queen’s bailiff
34Sheriff not to act as barrister or solicitor
35Service of process when Sheriff disqualified
36Persons arrested by Sheriffs may be committed to prison at once
37Calculation of Sheriff’s poundage [Repealed]
38Appointment of, and oath taken by, appraiser [Repealed]
39Goods defined [Repealed]
40Sheriffs’ and poundage fees [Repealed]
41Fee in special cases [Repealed]
42Fees to be paid into Crown Bank Account
43Where Sheriff not present at sitting of court, duties of Sheriff may be performed by any person appointed by the court or Judge [Repealed]
44Provision in cases of vacancy in office of Sheriff [Repealed]
45Governor may appoint Deputy Sheriffs [Repealed]
46When Deputies to act [Repealed]
47Commissioners to take affidavits, etc, out of New Zealand
48Affidavits, etc, so taken to be of like effect as if taken in New Zealand
49Commission may be revoked
50Seal of the court
51High Court Rules
51APublication of High Court Rules under Legislation Act 2012
51BRules Committee
51CPower to make rules
51DRules of court under other Acts to be made in manner provided by this Act
51EPower to prescribe procedure on applications to High Court, Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court
51FPower to make rules conferring specified jurisdiction and powers of Judge on Registrars or Deputy Registrars
51GJurisdiction of court to award costs in all cases
52Power of Judge to hold or adjourn sitting
53Fees to be paid into Crown Bank Account
54Service of process on Sundays void
54AVerdict of three-fourths [Repealed]
54BDischarge of juror or jury
54CProcedure in respect of habeas corpus [Repealed]
55Power under certain circumstances to arrest defendant about to quit New Zealand
56Memorials of judgments obtained out of New Zealand may be registered
56AFailure of witness to attend
56BRefusal of witness to give evidence
56BBWitnesses entitled to expenses [Repealed]
56CContempt of court
56CAJudicial review of decisions under Immigration Act 1987 [Repealed]
56DBTrans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 does not affect this Part
56DCCourts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 does not apply to remote appearances under this Part
56EHigh Court may order New Zealand proceedings to be heard in Australia
56FAustralian counsel entitled to practise in High Court
56GHigh Court may set aside subpoena issued in New Zealand proceeding
56HInjunctions and orders in New Zealand proceedings
56IIssue of subpoenas in New Zealand proceedings
56JPowers of Federal Court of Australia
56KIssue of subpoenas in Australian proceedings
56LFailure of witness to comply with subpoena issued in Australian proceeding
56MFederal Court of Australia may administer oaths in New Zealand
56NOrders made by Federal Court of Australia not subject to review
56OContempt of Federal Court of Australia
56PArrangements to facilitate sittings
56QPrivileges and immunities of Judges, counsel, and witnesses in Australian proceedings
56RHigh Court may take evidence at request of Federal Court
56SPower to make rules for purposes of this Part
57Constitution of Court of Appeal
57AJudges of Court of Appeal act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time
58Court of Appeal to sit in divisions
58AComposition of criminal appeals division or divisions
58BComposition of civil appeals division or divisions
58CAssignment of Judges to divisions
58DCourt of Appeal to sit as full court in certain cases
58ECases of sufficient significance for full court
58FHigh Court Judges sitting on full court
58GAuthority of High Court Judges
59Judgment of Court of Appeal
60Sittings of Court of Appeal
60ACourt of Appeal may sit in divisions [Repealed]
61Adjournment in cases of absence of some of the Judges
61AIncidental orders and directions may be made and given by 1 Judge
62Power to remit proceedings to the High Court
63Judgments of Court of Appeal may be enforced by the High Court
64Transfer of civil proceedings from High Court to Court of Appeal
65Decision of Court of Appeal final as regards tribunals of New Zealand [Repealed]
66Court may hear appeals from judgments and orders of the High Court
67Appeals against decisions of High Court on appeal
68Direct appeal from decision of inferior courts [Repealed]
69Trial at bar
70Appeal from judgment of Supreme Court on conviction [Repealed]
71Rules of practice [Repealed]
72Appointment of officers
73Powers and duties of officers
74Court seal
75Power to fix fees [Repealed]
76Power to courts to amend mistakes and supply omissions in warrants, orders, etc [Repealed]
77Limitation of actions for merchants’ accounts [Repealed]
78Limitation not barred by claims subsequently arising [Repealed]
79Absence beyond seas or imprisonment of a creditor not to be a disability [Repealed]
80Period of limitation to run as to joint debtors in New Zealand, though some are beyond seas [Repealed]
81Judgment recovered against joint debtors in New Zealand to be no bar to proceeding against others beyond seas after their return [Repealed]
82Part payment by one contractor, etc, not to prevent bar in favour of another contractor, etc [Repealed]
83Consideration for guarantee need not appear by writing [Repealed]
84A surety who discharges the liability to be entitled to assignment of all securities held by the creditor
85Rights of surety in such case
86Rights of co-sureties, etc, as between themselves
87Interest on debts and damages
88Actions on lost instruments
88AJudicial officers to continue in office to complete proceedings
88BRestriction on institution of vexatious actions
89Administration suits [Repealed]
90Stipulations not of the essence of contracts
91Damages by collision at sea [Repealed]
92Discharge of debt by acceptance of part in satisfaction
93Provisions of 9 Geo IV, c 14, ss 1 and 8, extended to acknowledgments by agents [Repealed]
94Judgment against one of several persons jointly liable not a bar to action against others
94ARecovery of payments made under mistake of law
94BPayments made under mistake of law or fact not always recoverable
95Limitation of time within which wills may be impeached [Repealed]
96Jurisdiction as to costs in administration suits [Repealed]
97Court empowered to grant special relief in cases of encroachment [Repealed]
98Custody and education of infants [Repealed]
98AProceedings in lieu of writs
99In cases of conflict rules of equity to prevail
99ACosts where intervener or counsel assisting court appears
99BTechnical advisers
99CAppointment and other matters
99DProcedure and rules relating to technical advisers
100Independent medical examination
100BReviews of decisions of Registrars concerning fees
101Words imputing unchastity to women actionable without special damage [Repealed]
Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate certain enactments of the Parliament of New Zealand relating to the High Court and the Court of Appeal, and to certain rules and provisions of law in judicial matters generally

Title: amended, on 1 January 1987, pursuant to section 29(2) of the Constitution Act 1986 (1986 No 114).

Title: amended, on 1 April 1980, pursuant to section 12 of the Judicature Amendment Act 1979 (1979 No 124).