Law Commission Act 1985

Reprint
as at 25 January 2005

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Law Commission Act 1985

Public Act1985 No 151
Date of assent9 December 1985
Commencementsee section 1(2)

Note

Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


An Act to establish a Law Commission as a central advisory body for the review, reform, and development of the law of New Zealand

1 Short Title and commencement
  • (1) This Act may be cited as the Law Commission Act 1985.

    (2) This Act shall come into force on 1 February 1986.

2 Act to bind the Crown
  • This Act binds the Crown.

3 Purpose
  • The purpose of this Act is to promote the systematic review, reform, and development of the law of New Zealand.

3A Interpretation
  • In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    Commissioner means a member of the Commission

    organisation means—

    • (a) an organisation named in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975:

    • (b) an organisation named in Schedule 1 of the Official Information Act 1982:

    • (c) the Auditor-General

    responsible Minister means the Minister of the Crown who, under the authority of any warrant or with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act.

    Section 3A: substituted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

4 Establishment
  • (1) For the purpose of this Act, there is hereby established a commission to be called the Law Commission.

    (2) The Commission is a Crown entity for the purposes of section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

    (3) The Crown Entities Act 2004 applies to the Commission except to the extent that this Act expressly provides otherwise.

    Section 4(2): substituted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 4(3): added, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

5 Functions
  • (1) The principal functions of the Commission are—

    • (a) to take and keep under review in a systematic way the law of New Zealand:

    • (b) to make recommendations for the reform and development of the law of New Zealand:

    • (c) to advise on the review of any aspect of the law of New Zealand conducted by any government department or organisation (as defined in section 3A) and on proposals made as a result of the review:

    • (d) to advise the Minister of Justice and the responsible Minister on ways in which the law of New Zealand can be made as understandable and accessible as is practicable.

    (2) In making its recommendations, the Commission—

    • (a) shall take into account te ao Maori (the Maori dimension) and shall also give consideration to the multicultural character of New Zealand society; and

    • (b) shall have regard to the desirability of simplifying the expression and content of the law, as far as that is practicable.

    (3) Except as expressly provided otherwise in this or any other Act, the Commission must act independently in performing its statutory functions and duties, and exercising its statutory powers under—

    • (a) this Act; and

    • (b) any other Act that expressly provides for the functions, powers, or duties of the Commission (other than the Crown Entities Act 2004).

    Section 5(1)(c): amended, on 25 January 2005, pursuant to section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 5(1)(d): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

    Section 5(3): added, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

6 Powers
  • (1) [Repealed]

    (2)  The Commission shall have the power—

    • (a) to initiate proposals for the review, reform, or development of any aspect of the law of New Zealand and to receive and consider any such proposals made or referred to it by any person:

    • (b) to initiate, sponsor, and carry out such studies and research as it thinks expedient for the proper discharge of its functions:

    • (c) to publicise such parts of its work in such manner as it thinks expedient, to conduct public hearings, to seek comments from the public on its proposals, and to consult with any persons or classes of persons:

    • (d) to provide advice and assistance to, and to request information from, any government department or organisation considering the review, reform, or development of any aspect of the law of New Zealand.

    (3) Subsection (2) does not limit section 16 or section 17 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

    Section 6(1): repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 6(2): amended, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 6(2)(d): amended, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 6(3): added, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

7 Responsibilities
  • (1) The Commission shall prepare and submit to the responsible Minister, at least once a year, programmes for the review of appropriate aspects of the law of New Zealand with a view to their reform or development.

    (2) The responsible Minister may, at any time, request the Commission to examine any aspect of the law of New Zealand, and the Commission shall review that aspect accordingly, and report to the responsible Minister thereon with its recommendations.

    (3) The responsible Minister may request the Commission to give priority to the examination of any aspect of the law of New Zealand (whether or not included in a programme), and the Commission shall give that matter appropriate priority.

    Section 7(1): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

    Section 7(2): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

    Section 7(3): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

8 Assistance by departments
  • (1) The Commission may consult with any government department or organisation concerning any review of any aspect of the law of New Zealand administered by that department or organisation and may receive from the department or organisation such information relating to that review as is appropriate.

    (2) [Repealed]

    Section 8(2): repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

9 Membership of Commission
  • (1) The Law Commission must have no less than 3, and no more than 6, members.

    (2) Members of the Commission are the board for the purposes of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

    (3) The Governor-General must, on the recommendation of the responsible Minister, appoint 1 member of the Commission, who must be a Judge or retired Judge of the Court of Appeal or the High Court, or a barrister or solicitor of the High Court of not less than 7 years' practice, as the president of the Commission.

    (4) The president holds office as chairperson of the board for the purposes of the Crown Entities Act 2004 for the same term as he or she is president.

    (5) Clauses 1 to 4 of Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 do not apply to the Commission.

    Section 9: substituted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

10 Appointment of Judge as member not to affect tenure, etc
  • The appointment of a Judge as a member of the Commission, or service by a Judge as a member of the Commission, does not affect the Judge's tenure of the judicial office or the Judge's rank, title, status, precedence, salary, annual or other allowances or other rights or privileges as a Judge (including those in relation to superannuation) and, for all purposes, the Judge's service as a member shall be taken to be service as a Judge.

11 Term of office
  • [Repealed]

    Section 11: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

12 Vacation of office
  • [Repealed]

    Section 12: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

13 President and deputy
  • (1) The president of the Commission shall be its chief executive and shall supervise and direct the work of the Commission.

    (1A) Despite subsection (1), section 117 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 does not apply to the president.

    (2) The president of the Commission may from time to time appoint another member of the Commission as the deputy of the president of the Commission.

    (2A) The deputy president holds office as deputy chairperson of the board for the purposes of the Crown Entities Act 2004 for the same term as he or she is deputy president.

    (3) In any case in which the president of the Commission becomes incapable of acting by reason of illness, absence, or other sufficient cause or during any vacancy in the office of president, the deputy of the president of the Commission shall have and may exercise all the powers, functions, and duties of the president.

    (4) No acts done by a person holding office as the deputy of the president of the Commission in that person's capacity as such deputy, and no act done by the Commission while a deputy of the president of the Commission is acting as such deputy, shall in any proceedings be questioned on the ground that the occasion for the deputy's so acting had not arisen or had ceased.

    Section 13(1A): inserted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 13(2A): inserted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

14 Procedure
  • [Repealed]

    Section 14: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

15 Proceedings of Commission
  • The provisions of Schedule 1 shall have effect in relation to the Commission and its proceedings.

16 Reports
  • (1) The Commission—

    • (a) shall submit to the responsible Minister, and any relevant portfolio Minister, every report prepared by it on any aspect of the law of New Zealand; and

    • (b) shall publish every report submitted to the responsible Minister, and any relevant portfolio Minister, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection.

    (2) Where the Commission furnishes to the responsible Minister a report prepared by it on any aspect of the law of New Zealand, the responsible Minister shall lay a copy of that report before Parliament as soon as practicable after the receipt of that report by the Minister.

    Section 16(1)(a): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

    Section 16(1)(b): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

    Section 16(2): amended, on 19 December 2002, by section 4 of the Law Commission Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 69).

17 Annual report
  • [Repealed]

    Section 17: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

18 Consequential amendments to other enactments
  • The enactments specified in Schedule 2 are hereby amended in the manner indicated in that schedule.


Schedule 1
Provisions relating to Law Commission

s 15

1 Remuneration, allowances, and expenses of members of Commission
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 1: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

2 Employees of Commission
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 2: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

3 Committees and consultants
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 3: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

4 Application of certain Acts to members and staff of Commission
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 4: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

5 Superannuation or retiring allowances
  • (1) The Commission may, for the purpose of providing retirement benefits to its members, contribute to any superannuation scheme that complies with the requirements of section 84B of the State Sector Act 1988.

    (2) Subclause (1) does not limit the powers of the Commission under sections 84 to 84B of the State Sector Act 1988 in relation to its employees and officers.

    (3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, any person who immediately before becoming an officer or employee of the Commission or member of the Commission is a contributor to the Government Superannuation Fund under Part 2 or Part 2A of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956 shall be deemed to be, for the purposes of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956, employed in the Government service so long as that person continues to be an officer or employee of the Commission or to hold office as a member of the Commission; and that Act shall apply to that person in all respects as if that person's service as such an officer or employee or as such a member were Government service.

    (4) Subject to the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956, nothing in subclause (3) shall entitle any such person to become a contributor to the Government Superannuation Fund after that person has once ceased to be a contributor.

    (5) For the purposes of applying the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956, in accordance with subclause (3), to a person who is in the service of the Commission, whether as an officer or employee or as a member, and is a contributor to the Government Superannuation Fund, the term controlling authority, in relation to any such person who is in the service of the Commission, means the Commission.

    Schedule 1 clause 5(1): substituted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Schedule 1 clause 5(2): substituted, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

6 Crown may provide services for Commission
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 6: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

7 Money to be appropriated by Parliament for purposes of this Act
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 7: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

8 Funds of Commission
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 8: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

9 Bank accounts
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 9: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

10 Investment of money
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 10: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

11 Crown entity
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 11: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

12 Seal
  • [Repealed]

    Schedule 1 clause 12: repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

13 Exemption from income tax
  • The income of the Commission shall be exempt from income tax.

14 Proceedings privileged
  • (1) [Repealed]

    (2) [Repealed]

    (3) No member of the Commission, or officer or employee thereof, or any other person appointed or engaged by the Commission to assist it in the performance of its functions, shall be required to give evidence in any court, or in any proceedings of a judicial nature, in respect of anything coming to the knowledge of the member, officer, employee, or person in the course of the operations of the Commission.

    (4) Anything said or any information supplied or any document produced by any person in the course of any proceedings before the Commission shall be privileged in the same manner as if the proceedings were proceedings in a court.

    (5) For the purposes of clause 3 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Defamation Act 1992, any report made by the Commission in the course of the exercise or intended exercise of its functions shall be deemed to be an official report made by a person holding an inquiry under the authority of the Parliament of New Zealand.

    Schedule 1 clause 14(1): repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Schedule 1 clause 14(2): repealed, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Schedule 1 clause 14(3): amended, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Schedule 1 clause 14(5): substituted, on 1 February 1993, by section 56(1) of the Defamation Act 1992 (1992 No 105).


Schedule 2
Enactments amended

s 18

[Repealed]

  • Schedule 2: repealed, on 1 April 1988, by section 15(1) of the Higher Salaries Commission Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 24).


Contents

  • 1General

  • 2Status of reprints

  • 3How reprints are prepared

  • 4Changes made under section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989

  • 5List of amendments incorporated in this reprint (most recent first)


Notes
1 General
  • This is a reprint of the Law Commission Act 1985. The reprint incorporates all the amendments to the Act as at 25 January 2005, as specified in the list of amendments at the end of these notes.

    Relevant provisions of any amending enactments that contain transitional, savings, or application provisions that cannot be compiled in the reprint are also included, after the principal enactment, in chronological order. For more information, see http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/reprints/ .

2 Status of reprints
  • Under section 16D of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, reprints are presumed to correctly state, as at the date of the reprint, the law enacted by the principal enactment and by the amendments to that enactment. This presumption applies even though editorial changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in the reprint.

    This presumption may be rebutted by producing the official volumes of statutes or statutory regulations in which the principal enactment and its amendments are contained.

3 How reprints are prepared
  • A number of editorial conventions are followed in the preparation of reprints. For example, the enacting words are not included in Acts, and provisions that are repealed or revoked are omitted. For a detailed list of the editorial conventions, see http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/editorial-conventions/ or Part 8 of the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force.

4 Changes made under section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989
  • Section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 authorises the making of editorial changes in a reprint as set out in sections 17D and 17E of that Act so that, to the extent permitted, the format and style of the reprinted enactment is consistent with current legislative drafting practice. Changes that would alter the effect of the legislation are not permitted.

    A new format of legislation was introduced on 1 January 2000. Changes to legislative drafting style have also been made since 1997, and are ongoing. To the extent permitted by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, all legislation reprinted after 1 January 2000 is in the new format for legislation and reflects current drafting practice at the time of the reprint.

    In outline, the editorial changes made in reprints under the authority of section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 are set out below, and they have been applied, where relevant, in the preparation of this reprint:

    • omission of unnecessary referential words (such as of this section and of this Act)

    • typeface and type size (Times Roman, generally in 11.5 point)

    • layout of provisions, including:

      • indentation

      • position of section headings (eg, the number and heading now appear above the section)

    • format of definitions (eg, the defined term now appears in bold type, without quotation marks)

    • format of dates (eg, a date formerly expressed as the 1st day of January 1999 is now expressed as 1 January 1999)

    • position of the date of assent (it now appears on the front page of each Act)

    • punctuation (eg, colons are not used after definitions)

    • Parts numbered with roman numerals are replaced with arabic numerals, and all cross-references are changed accordingly

    • case and appearance of letters and words, including:

      • format of headings (eg, headings where each word formerly appeared with an initial capital letter followed by small capital letters are amended so that the heading appears in bold, with only the first word (and any proper nouns) appearing with an initial capital letter)

      • small capital letters in section and subsection references are now capital letters

    • schedules are renumbered (eg, Schedule 1 replaces First Schedule), and all cross-references are changed accordingly

    • running heads (the information that appears at the top of each page)

    • format of two-column schedules of consequential amendments, and schedules of repeals (eg, they are rearranged into alphabetical order, rather than chronological).

5 List of amendments incorporated in this reprint (most recent first)