Chief High Court Judge Venning has announced that a specialist judicial commercial panel in the High Court will commence on 1 September 2017.
The panel is established by section 19 of the Senior Courts Act 2016. The regime will be regulated by the Senior Courts (High Court Commercial Panel) Order 2017 and the new Part 29 of the High Court Rules 2016.
Justice Venning says the Panel Order specifies the types of proceedings which may be assigned to the Commercial Panel, while the High Court Amendment Rules set the procedure for nominating and determining whether a case is a suitable one for a panel judge to hear.
The initial panel judges will be Justices Venning, Heath, Courtney, Wylie, Katz and Muir in Auckland, and Justices Mallon and Dobson in Wellington.
The panel judges will continue to carry out the full array of the balance of High Court work.
"Either the plaintiff or defendant may nominate a proceeding be heard by a panel judge. In my capacity as the Chief Judge I will decide whether to assign a panel judge to the proceeding having regard to the criteria in the Panel Order," Justice Venning says.
"As a general rule, panel judges will case manage their assigned cases from their home registry, while the substantive hearing will generally be held in the filing registry."
Justice Venning says it is intended, where practical, that the assigned judge will deal with interlocutory and case management of the file as well as hearing the substantive fixture (if required).