Supreme Court Act 2003

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Reprint as at 1 July 2013

Supreme Court Act 2003

Public Act2003 No 53
Date of assent17 October 2003
Commencementsee section 2


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.


1 Title

Part 1
Supreme Court of New Zealand

Preliminary matters

2 Commencement

3 Purpose

4 Interpretation

5 Act binds the Crown

Establishment and jurisdiction of Supreme Court

6 Supreme Court established

7 Appeals against decisions of Court of Appeal in civil proceedings

8 Appeals against decisions of High Court in civil proceedings

9 Appeals against decisions of other courts in civil proceedings

10 Appeals against decisions in criminal proceedings

11 Procedural requirements

Leave to appeal to Court

12 Appeals to be by leave

13 Criteria for leave to appeal

14 No direct appeal from court other than Court of Appeal unless exceptional circumstances established

15 Applications for leave

16 Court to state reasons for refusal to give leave

Constitution of Court

17 Constitution of Court

18 Chief Justice, and seniority of Judges

19 Acting Chief Justice

20 Judges to be Judges of High Court

21 Judges of other courts vacate office on appointment

22 Term of office of Judges

23 Acting Judges

Powers and judgment of Court

24 Appeals to proceed by rehearing

25 General powers

26 Power to remit proceedings

27 Exercise of powers of Court

28 Interlocutory orders and directions may be made and given by one Judge

29 Presiding Judge

30 Procedure if Judges absent

31 Judgment of Court

32 Decisions of Court may be enforced by High Court

Administrative provisions

33 Salaries and allowances of Judges

34 Fees to be paid into Crown Bank Account

35 Contempt of Court

36 Appointment of officers

37 Powers and duties of officers

38 Seal

39 Regulations

40 Reviews of decisions of Registrars about fees

41 Technical advisers

Ending of appeals to Her Majesty in Council

42 Ending of appeals to Her Majesty in Council

Part 2
Amendments, repeals, transitional provisions, and savings

Substantive amendments to Judicature Act 1908

43 New sections 4A and 4B of Judicature Act 1908 inserted

44 Constitution of the Court

45 Technical advisers

Substantive amendment to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

46 New sections 58A and 58B inserted

Other substantive amendments

47 Other substantive amendments

Consequential amendments and repeals

48 Consequential amendments and repeals

49 Imperial enactments ceasing to have effect in New Zealand

Transitional and savings

50 Privy Council may still determine appeals in certain existing proceedings

51 Limitation on right to appeal to Supreme Court in certain existing proceedings

52 Transitional effect of sections 42 and 49

53 Transitional arrangements for leave applications

54 No new rights of appeal against decisions made before 1 January 2004

55 Hearings not to begin before 1 July 2004

Schedule 1

Schedule 2
Consequential repeals

Schedule 3
Provisions containing references to former Supreme Court

Schedule 4
Imperial legislation ceasing to have effect as part of law of New Zealand

Reprint notes