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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1095541
 
 

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The Citation of Overseas Authority in Rights Litigation in New Zealand: How Much Bark? How Much Bite?


James Allan


The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Grant Huscroft


University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law

Nessa Lynch


affiliation not provided to SSRN


University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 08-04
Otago Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2007

Abstract:     
There are no hard and fast rules governing the use of foreign precedents in litigation under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. Indeed, there are no rules at all. New Zealand courts are in a similar position to courts in most countries with bills of rights in this regard. They are bound to consider relevant domestic authority, but appear to have unlimited discretion in regard to invoking foreign authority. They may cite Canadian, American, European, even South African authority in some cases only to ignore it in others.

The authors review the use of foreign authority in New Zealand courts by examining citation practice in cases decided from 1990-2006, and use the data to answer a number of questions. For example, which rights tend to receive international treatment, and which do not? Which foreign courts are most likely to be cited in New Zealand courts? Is the citation of foreign decisions linked to expansive application of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, or does it have the effect of limiting its scope?

The authors conclude that New Zealand courts should be more sceptical of foreign authority than they appear to be, and that the premises justifying its use should be articulated.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, Comparative constitutional law, use of foreign law

JEL Classification: K10, K19

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Date posted: February 21, 2008 ; Last revised: March 7, 2008

Suggested Citation

Allan, James and Huscroft, Grant and Lynch, Nessa, The Citation of Overseas Authority in Rights Litigation in New Zealand: How Much Bark? How Much Bite?. University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 08-04; Otago Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1095541

Contact Information

James Allan
The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )
The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia
Grant Huscroft (Contact Author)
University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law ( email )
London, Ontario N6A 3K7 N6A 3K7
Canada
519-661-2111 ext 88375 (Phone)
519-661-3790 (Fax)
Nessa Lynch
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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