New Zealand Law Society - Law Commission to review declaratory judgments

Law Commission to review declaratory judgments

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The Law Commission says the Minister of Justice has requested it to commence a review of declaratory judgments.

Commission President Douglas White QC says it is an area of the law ripe for reform.

"There is uncertainty in the scope of the remedy and significant complexity caused by the overlap between the various sources under which a court may find jurisdiction," he says.

"The Declaratory Judgments Act 1908, in particular, is in need of modernisation. It is outdated in its language and form. For example, section 3, the Act's principal provision, is a single sentence of 172 words."

The Commission says it will undertake a comprehensive review of declaratory judgments over the next two years and will consult with the public, as well as engaging key interested parties and convening an Expert Advisory Group.

The Commission expects to report to the Minister with its recommendations by April 2018.