New Zealand Law Society - Courts roundup 21 April - 27 April 2022

Courts roundup 21 April - 27 April 2022

Courts roundup 21 April - 27 April 2022

Decisions, proceedings and news from the courts in some common law jurisdictions in the past fortnight.

New Zealand Court of Appeal

Contract formation

Inspire Holdings Limited (Purchaser) v JSM Properties Limited (Vendor) [2022] NZCA 136 (26 April 2022) Kós P, Woolford and Dunningham JJ

Unsuccessful appeal from decision finding there was no legally enforceable agreement for sale and purchase of properties – Parties negotiated by email and text and exchanged several versions of ADLS/REINZ agreement for sale and purchase which recorded purchase price inclusive of GST (V1 to V4) – Question arose concerning inclusion of words “if any” in relation to GST – Purchaser contended a legally enforceable contract was concluded when it signed and returned a printout of V2 after it had sent V3 – Parties differed on whether V3 was counter-offer or an enquiry about possible variation – CA upheld HC conclusion that relevant exchanges did not result in legally binding contract and caveat could not be sustained.

Criminal law – Youth justice – Delay (login required)

X(CA570/2021) v Youth Court of Manukau [2022] NZCA 63 (18 March 2022) Kós P, Gilbert and Collins JJ

Unsuccessful appeal from decision declining review of decisions declining to dismiss charges under s147 CPA and s322 Oranga Tamariki Act (OT Act) – Alleged sexual offending at boarding school when X aged 13 – Presumption of doli incapax applied as codified in Crimes Act and OT Act that child over 10 and under 14 years may not be convicted of offence unless Crown proves child knew the act or omission was wrong or contrary to law – Undue delay between alleged offending and scheduled trial date – CA considered history and application of doli incapax presumption; s208(2) and s322 of OT Act and caselaw; impact of delay on fair trial rights – YC and HC decisions upheld subject to material change in circumstances.

Interim name suppression (login required)

Z v New Zealand Police [2022] NZCA 108 (4 April 2022) Courtney, Katz and Cull JJ

Successful appeal – Z and A were migrants who breached covid travel restrictions to undertake sex work – Names published before interim suppression granted pending appeal – HC dismissed appeal finding women ran risk of being shunned by their ethnic community through involvement in sex industry, public anger had dissipated with transition to new covid framework and extensive publication had already occurred – CA allowed appeal - As middle-aged single mothers with little English sex work was only realistic means of supporting families – Z and A were socially isolated after initial publication, unlikely to find other forms of employment if names published and impacts on mental and physical well-being had been harsh – Discretionary factors included breach of rights by failure to provide interpreter, need to ensure fair trial and publication not required in public interest – Interim name suppression granted.