Judicature Act 1908

Before its repeal, this Act was administered by: Ministry of Justice
  • repealed
  • Judicature Act 1908: repealed, on 1 January 2018, pursuant to section 182(4) of the Senior Courts Act 2016 (2016 No 48).

Reprint as at 1 January 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Judicature Act 1908

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

Judicature Act 1908: repealed, on 1 January 2018, pursuant to section 182(4) of the Senior Courts Act 2016 (2016 No 48).


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1Short Title, etc [Repealed]
2Interpretation [Repealed]
3Supreme Court reconstituted as High Court [Repealed]
4The Judges of the High Court [Repealed]
4AChief High Court Judge [Repealed]
4BFunctions of Chief High Court Judge [Repealed]
4CJudges of High Court act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time [Repealed]
5Senior Judge to act as Chief Justice in certain circumstances [Repealed]
6Judges to be barristers or solicitors [Repealed]
7Commissions of Judges to continue during good behaviour [Repealed]
8Judges may be removed or suspended on address of both Houses of Assembly to the Queen [Repealed]
9Governor may suspend Judge when Parliament not sitting [Repealed]
9ASalaries and allowances of Judges [Repealed]
10Salaries of Judges not to be diminished [Repealed]
11Temporary Judges [Repealed]
11AFormer Judges [Repealed]
11BCertificate by Chief Justice and Chief High Court Judge [Repealed]
12Superannuation allowance of Judges [Repealed]
13Age of retirement [Repealed]
14Rights on retirement before attaining retiring age [Repealed]
15How superannuation allowances of the existing Judges to be computed [Repealed]
16General jurisdiction [Repealed]
16APower to award damages as well as, or in substitution for, injunction or specific performance [Repealed]
17Jurisdiction as to mentally disordered persons, etc [Repealed]
17AJurisdiction as to liquidation of associations [Repealed]
17BApplication of Companies Act 1993 [Repealed]
17CMeaning of inability to pay debts [Repealed]
17DPower of liquidator to enforce liabilities [Repealed]
17EActions stayed on liquidation [Repealed]
18No jurisdiction in cases of felonies or misdemeanours committed prior to 14 January 1840 [Repealed]
19Powers of the court may be exercised by 1 or more Judges [Repealed]
19ACertain civil proceedings may be tried by jury [Repealed]
19BAll other civil proceedings to be tried before Judge alone, unless court otherwise orders [Repealed]
19CQuestions of foreign law to be decided by Judge [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
23AOffices of the High Court [Repealed]
24Registrar may act for Judge in certain cases [Repealed]
24AEstablishment of commercial list [Repealed]
24BProceedings eligible for commercial list [Repealed]
24CCommercial list Judges [Repealed]
24DDirections for speedy determination of real questions in proceedings on commercial list [Repealed]
24EAgreement not to appeal [Repealed]
24FProceedings not to be tried by jury [Repealed]
24GRestriction of right of appeal from interlocutory decisions [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
26DAssociate Judges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time [Repealed]
26EVacation of office [Repealed]
26FSalaries and allowances of Associate Judges [Repealed]
26GSuperannuation or retiring allowances of Associate Judges [Repealed]
26HTemporary Associate Judges [Repealed]
26IAssociate Judge may exercise certain powers of the court [Repealed]
26IAAncillary powers of Associate Judge [Repealed]
26IBJudge or Associate Judge may, by video link, preside at hearing of specified matters [Repealed]
26JPower to make rules conferring specified jurisdiction and powers of Judge in chambers on Associate Judges [Repealed]
26KPower of Associate Judge to deal with witnesses and to punish for contempt [Repealed]
26LAssociate Judge to have no power to make order for committal, attachment, or arrest [Repealed]
26MAssociate Judge may act as referee [Repealed]
26NTransfer of proceedings from Associate Judge to Judge [Repealed]
26OPower of Associate Judge to adjourn proceedings [Repealed]
26PReview of, or appeals against, decisions of Associate Judges [Repealed]
26QImmunity of Associate Judges [Repealed]
26RJurisdiction of Judge not affected [Repealed]
27Appointment of officers [Repealed]
28Powers of Registrars [Repealed]
29Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs [Repealed]
30Sheriff’s oath [Repealed]
31Sureties may withdraw [Repealed]
32Duties, etc, of Sheriffs [Repealed]
33Sheriff to act as Queen’s bailiff [Repealed]
34Sheriff not to act as barrister or solicitor [Repealed]
35Service of process when Sheriff disqualified [Repealed]
36Persons arrested by Sheriffs may be committed to prison at once [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
48Affidavits, etc, so taken to be of like effect as if taken in New Zealand [Repealed]
49Commission may be revoked [Repealed]
50Seal of the court [Repealed]
51High Court Rules [Repealed]
51APublication of High Court Rules under Legislation Act 2012 [Repealed]
51BRules Committee [Repealed]
51CPower to make rules [Repealed]
51DRules of court under other Acts to be made in manner provided by this Act [Repealed]
51EPower to prescribe procedure on applications to High Court, Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court [Repealed]
51FPower to make rules conferring specified jurisdiction and powers of Judge on Registrars or Deputy Registrars [Repealed]
51GJurisdiction of court to award costs in all cases [Repealed]
52Power of Judge to hold or adjourn sitting [Repealed]
53Fees to be paid into Crown Bank Account [Repealed]
54Service of process on Sundays void [Repealed]
54AVerdict of three-fourths [Repealed]
54BDischarge of juror or jury [Repealed]
54CProcedure in respect of habeas corpus [Repealed]
55Power under certain circumstances to arrest defendant about to quit New Zealand [Repealed]
56Memorials of judgments obtained out of New Zealand may be registered [Repealed]
56AFailure of witness to attend [Repealed]
56BRefusal of witness to give evidence [Repealed]
56BBWitnesses entitled to expenses [Repealed]
56CContempt of court [Repealed]
56CAJudicial review of decisions under Immigration Act 1987 [Repealed]
56DInterpretation [Repealed]
56DBTrans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 does not affect this Part [Repealed]
56DCCourts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 does not apply to remote appearances under this Part [Repealed]
56EHigh Court may order New Zealand proceedings to be heard in Australia [Repealed]
56FAustralian counsel entitled to practise in High Court [Repealed]
56GHigh Court may set aside subpoena issued in New Zealand proceeding [Repealed]
56HInjunctions and orders in New Zealand proceedings [Repealed]
56IIssue of subpoenas in New Zealand proceedings [Repealed]
56JPowers of Federal Court of Australia [Repealed]
56KIssue of subpoenas in Australian proceedings [Repealed]
56LFailure of witness to comply with subpoena issued in Australian proceeding [Repealed]
56MFederal Court of Australia may administer oaths in New Zealand [Repealed]
56NOrders made by Federal Court of Australia not subject to review [Repealed]
56OContempt of Federal Court of Australia [Repealed]
56PArrangements to facilitate sittings [Repealed]
56QPrivileges and immunities of Judges, counsel, and witnesses in Australian proceedings [Repealed]
56RHigh Court may take evidence at request of Federal Court [Repealed]
56SPower to make rules for purposes of this Part [Repealed]
57Constitution of Court of Appeal [Repealed]
57AJudges of Court of Appeal act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time [Repealed]
58Court of Appeal to sit in divisions [Repealed]
58AComposition of criminal appeals division or divisions [Repealed]
58BComposition of civil appeals division or divisions [Repealed]
58CAssignment of Judges to divisions [Repealed]
58DCourt of Appeal to sit as full court in certain cases [Repealed]
58ECases of sufficient significance for full court [Repealed]
58FHigh Court Judges sitting on full court [Repealed]
58GAuthority of High Court Judges [Repealed]
59Judgment of Court of Appeal [Repealed]
60Sittings of Court of Appeal [Repealed]
60ACourt of Appeal may sit in divisions [Repealed]
61Adjournment in cases of absence of some of the Judges [Repealed]
61AIncidental orders and directions may be made and given by 1 Judge [Repealed]
62Power to remit proceedings to the High Court [Repealed]
63Judgments of Court of Appeal may be enforced by the High Court [Repealed]
64Transfer of civil proceedings from High Court to Court of Appeal [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
67Appeals against decisions of High Court on appeal [Repealed]
68Direct appeal from decision of inferior courts [Repealed]
69Trial at bar [Repealed]
70Appeal from judgment of Supreme Court on conviction [Repealed]
71Rules of practice [Repealed]
72Appointment of officers [Repealed]
73Powers and duties of officers [Repealed]
74Court seal [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
85Rights of surety in such case [Repealed]
86Rights of co-sureties, etc, as between themselves [Repealed]
87Interest on debts and damages [Repealed]
88Actions on lost instruments [Repealed]
88AJudicial officers to continue in office to complete proceedings [Repealed]
88BRestriction on institution of vexatious actions [Repealed]
89Administration suits [Repealed]
90Stipulations not of the essence of contracts [Repealed]
91Damages by collision at sea [Repealed]
92Discharge of debt by acceptance of part in satisfaction [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
94ARecovery of payments made under mistake of law [Repealed]
94BPayments made under mistake of law or fact not always recoverable [Repealed]
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 [Repealed]
99In cases of conflict rules of equity to prevail [Repealed]
99ACosts where intervener or counsel assisting court appears [Repealed]
99BTechnical advisers [Repealed]
99CAppointment and other matters [Repealed]
99DProcedure and rules relating to technical advisers [Repealed]
100Independent medical examination [Repealed]
100ARegulations [Repealed]
100BReviews of decisions of Registrars concerning fees [Repealed]
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).