The Courthouse Committee monitors and provides advice on significant issues affecting courthouses throughout the country, including courthouse design, access, safety, security and the efficient use and management of courthouses, bearing in mind the needs of all court users.
The Courthouse Committee was established by the Law Society Board in 2007 in response to a range of courthouse issues practitioners and other court users were facing at the time. The Board updated the committee’s remit in late 2012 to reflect the breadth of courthouse issues the committee deals with. The committee is now tasked with monitoring and providing a coordinated national response to issues such as court closures/restructuring, modernisation and technology initiatives, and court security.
The committee is connected to local networks of practitioners and court users across New Zealand, and liaises with the Minister for Courts, the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary on courthouse issues.
Iain Hutcheson, the convenor of the Courthouse Committee, is an experienced Auckland barrister working in civil litigation.
Iain has been involved in the redevelopment of a number of courts in the upper North Island, providing advice on design, access, security and other practical issues, through consultation with local practitioners, library and court staff.
Membership of the Courthouse Committee is made up of experienced practitioners from around New Zealand:
- Piers Davies (Auckland)
- Mark Wilton (Wellington)
- Max Winders (Dunedin)
- Craig Ruane (Christchurch)
DX SP20202 or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145
The Courthouse committee has recently been busy liaising with court staff to secure appropriate facilities for lawyers in new and refurbished courthouses around the country. The committee has assisted the Law Society in liaising with the Minister of Justice about the longer-term solutions for temporary courthouses in Oamaru and Dunedin. It has also provided input into the Courthouse Design Committee’s review of the Courthouse Design Standards.
The committee has kept a watching brief on technology in courts, including wi-fi and audio-visual links (AVL). In addition, it has been instrumental in obtaining confirmation of the Ministry’s policy on admission ceremonies in smaller regional centres.
Last updated on the 5th September 2017