The Law Society has been contacted after reports in the media this week about our joining or supporting a party to the judicial review to consider the legality of the Level 3 and 4 COVID-19 lockdowns.
Unfortunately, this coverage was incorrect in terms of the Law Society’s role. The correct information is that the Law Society has made an application for leave to intervene in the proceedings. Our role as intervenor is neutral and independent of the parties to the case.
Amongst the regulatory functions of the Law Society is its law reform and advocacy function. Section 65(e) of the Act contains a statutory mandate for NZLS to “assist and promote, for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand, the reform of the law”.
When considering whether to intervene, the Law Society considers whether the matter involves significant public interest issues or may impact widely on the profession or the public as a consequence of issues involving the rule of law or administration of justice. Often the Law Society intervenes at the request or invitation of the court to consider intervening, as in this case, because the court itself has identified issues of public importance in the proceeding.
We do not know if leave to intervene will be granted but if so, we will invite the profession to provide comments through our Law reform update in LawPoints.