New Zealand Law Society - Community Magistrate pilot in Christchurch

Community Magistrate pilot in Christchurch

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A two-month pilot programme has commenced for Community Magistrates sitting in Christchurch, three days a week across three timeslots.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the pilot is part of the work of the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct project to test new ways of working to benefit the justice system.

“Community Magistrates will bring benefits to the Christchurch courts by freeing up District Court Judges to deal with serious offending, prioritising arrest cases and reducing waiting times for court users,” she says.

“The building of the new precinct has presented an opportunity to run the pilot programme and see if it is effective at improving court scheduling and giving a better experience to our court users in Christchurch.”

Ms Adams says judicial Justices of the Peace will continue to work in Christchurch alongside the Community Magistrates.

The Community Magistrates in Christchurch will come from Auckland. There are 16 Community Magistrates who sit in the Northland, Auckland, Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Wairoa, New Plymouth and Whanganui courts.

Community Magistrates are appointed under sections 11A to 11H of the District Courts Act 1947 (and Part 3 of the District Court Act 2016 from 1 March 2017).