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NZLS support for abolition of double-actionability choice

01 February 2017

The New Zealand Law Society supports plans to abolish the double-actionability choice of law rule for tort contained in the Private International Law (Choice of Law in Tort) Bill.

In a submission to the Justice and Electoral select committee on the bill, the Law Society says it also supports its replacement with a simplified place-of-the-wrong choice of law rule with a flexible exception for appropriate circumstances.

"The bill largely adopts the scheme and language of Part III of the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 (UK)," it says.

"The fact that the bill is almost identical to the UK Act is likely to be helpful by providing recourse to a body of case law in the United Kingdom to assist with the interpretation and application of the legislation in New Zealand."

The submission suggests clarifying amendments in some areas where the New Zealand bill departs from the UK Act.

The Law Society also recommends that the bill should contain a more explicit protection for freedom of speech and other rights by including express reference to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

This would make it clear that where a foreign law infringes on freedom of expression or other rights protected by the BIll of Rights Act, that factor might be taken into account by the courts in determining whether it is appropriate to displace the general rule.

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Last updated on the 1st February 2017