Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and New Zealand Justice Minister Simon Power today announced that both countries will introduce legislation as a priority to make resolving legal disputes across the Tasman cheaper, more efficient and less complicated.
The legislation will implement the Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement Treaty that was signed in July 2008.
The Treaty includes a number of innovative measures, such as expanding the range of court judgments that can be enforced across the Tasman, and simplifying the process for doing so.
The Treaty also allows certain fines imposed in one country to be enforced in the other, improving the effectiveness, integrity and efficiency of Trans-Tasman markets.
"Making it easier and more cost effective for Australian and New Zealand businesses and individuals to resolve disputes will further encourage trade between our two countries," Mr McClelland said.
"With the global financial crisis likely to increase the number and complexity of legal disputes, it is more important than ever that legal processes are simple and affordable," Mr Power said.
The Attorney-General and the Minister noted that the reforms would strengthen co-operation between the countries. This reflects the special nature of the trans-Tasman relationship, the strong similarities between the New Zealand and Australian legal systems, and the confidence each country has in the judicial and regulatory institutions of the other.
The reforms are based on recommendations made in December 2006 by the Trans-Tasman Working Group on Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement. The Working Group undertook public and stakeholder consultation before finalising its recommendations.
Source: Ministerial Media Release