Making the Law More Accessible? The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017
34 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018
Date Written: April 4, 2018
The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 redrafts and consolidates 11 Acts governing contract and commercial law in New Zealand. It represents a significant change to the statute book, having repealed and replaced such important legislation as the Sale of Goods Act 1908, Contracts (Privity) Act 1982, and Electronic Transactions Act 2002. The Act is the first prepared using the “revision powers” created by the Legislation Act 2012, and aims therefore to improve the accessibility of the law. This essay assesses whether the Act achieves this aim. It is noted that the modernised drafting of the Act is likely to improve the clarity of the legislation for some users. However, the paper primarily addresses the decision to consolidate the 11 statutes into a single Act structure. Particular focus is placed on the range of significant and relevant legislation that was not included in the revision, especially the Fair Trading Act 1986 and Consumer Guarantees Act 1993. It is ultimately concluded that the effort to increase the accessibility of New Zealand’s contract and commercial legislation through a revision Act in this wide-ranging area of law created more problems than it solved.
Keywords: Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017, Legislation Act 2012, Revision Bill, Consolidation, Accessibility
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation