The Abolition or Retention of the Privy Council as the Final Court of Appeal for New Zealand: Conflict Between National Identity and Legal Pragmatism

New Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol. 20, 2002

16 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2003  

Noel Cox

Independent

Abstract

New Zealand currently retains the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as its final court of appeal. The recent announcement by the Attorney-General of New Zealand of a five-judge Supreme Court to replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council represents the penultimate stage in removing the right of appeals to the Privy Council. This has been all but inevitable since the release by the Attorney-General of a discussion paper proposing the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council. This was motivated by a political desire to end appeals to a London-based tribunal. While Miss Wilson might like to have all-party political support for her measure, she did not receive whole-hearted support from the legal community - or from much of the business sector. Before abolition of the right of appeal to the Privy Council, the Government and the legal profession needed to be agreed about a court structure and exactly how it would work. Although Miss Wilson has stated that the legal profession has itself accepted the need for ending appeals, it is unlikely that this represents the real attitude of the legal profession, or the business community.

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Cox, Noel, The Abolition or Retention of the Privy Council as the Final Court of Appeal for New Zealand: Conflict Between National Identity and Legal Pragmatism. New Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol. 20, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.420373

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