New Zealand Law Society - District Court criminal judgment distribution process to be modernised

District Court criminal judgment distribution process to be modernised

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The Ministry of Justice is giving its support to a judicially-led initiative aiming to modernise the distribution process for judicial decisions delivered in the criminal jurisdiction of the District Court.

Called "iJudgment", the process has been piloted successfully in the Central court region and will be available for use by all Criminal jurisdiction District Court judges on 24 August 2018.

The ministry says iJudgment removes many of the manual steps from the judgment authorisation and distribution process. The new process will:

  • Allow the judiciary to authenticate decisions without the requirement of printing and signing physical documents. It says this method of signing complies with the notice of authentication required by rule 2.2(2)(b) Criminal Procedure Rules 2012, which is inserted when the decision is authenticated by the judge.
  • Allow the electronic distribution of decisions by email.

Judges' personal assistants will distribute the judicial decision by email to the counsel on record. The Registry will distribute the decision to any self-represented parties. The ministry says some decisions may still be issued by the Registry, especially over the coming months as judges adopt the initiative.

All other processes will remain unchanged, and any emails sent directly to a judge's personal assistant will not be responded to.

The ministry asks lawyers to advise it if they change their email address, to allow judicial decisions to be distributed accurately. It says contact details can be updated by examining its website in the section About the Ministry/Lawyers and Service Providers.