New Zealand Law Society - Committee go-ahead for Contract and Commercial Law Bill

Committee go-ahead for Contract and Commercial Law Bill

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Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee has released its report on the Contract and Commercial Law Bill, with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments.

The bill is the first in the Government's three-year statute revisions programme, which was presented to Parliament in December 2014. Revision bills are covered by Part 2(3) of the Legislation Act 2012, which sets out their limited revision powers.

The purpose of a revision bill is to re-enact laws in a modern, accessible format without changing the substance of the existing law.

The select committee report says the statutes in the Contract and Commercial Law Bill were chosen for revision because they are quite old, and contain out-of-date language and many repealed provisions.

If enacted, the bill would come into force six months from the date of Royal assent, to allow time for documents to be updated and for people to become familiar with the new provisions.

"We note that the new Act would apply to all arrangements, including contracts, regardless of whether they were entered into before or after enactment," the committee says.

The bill would revise and consolidate the following statutes:

Carriage of Goods Act 1979

Contracts (Privity) Act 1982

Contractual Mistakes Act 1977

Contractual Remedies Act 1979

Electronic Transactions Act 2002

Frustrated Contracts Act 1944

Illegal Contracts Sct 1970

Mercantile Law Act 1980 [other than Part 5]

Minors' Contracts Act 1969

Sale of Goods Act 1908

Sale of Goods Act (United Nations Convention) Act 1994.

The bill was introduced on 19 May 2016 and referred to the committee on 14 June 2016, with submissions closing on 12 August 2016. The committee received two submissions.