New Zealand Law Society - New contract and commercial legislation in force 1 September

New contract and commercial legislation in force 1 September

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The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 comes into force on 1 September 2017.

The legislation is the first major statute law revision since 1908, and is the result of a three-year statute revision programme presented to Parliament in December 2014 by Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson QC.

The revision programme and revision Acts were prepared pursuant to the Legislation Act 2012.

The new Act brings together 12 pieces of legislation which previously governed New Zealand's contract and commercial law. These include the now-repealed Sale of Goods Act 1908, the Mercantile Law Act 1908, the Frustrated Contracts Act 1944, the Carriage of Goods Act 1979, the Contractual Mistakes Act 1977 and the Minors' Contracts Act 1969.

Section 35 of the Legislation Act states that a provision of a revision Act is not intended to change the effect of the law as expressed in the Acts or parts of Acts repealed by and incorporated in the revision Act.

New Zealand's new contract and commercial legislation is written in plain English and with modern punctuation and layout. It also brings all the legislation into one statute.

New Zealand Law Society Vice-President, Wellington, Nerissa Barber says the Act is an important milestone in the development of an effective 21st century approach to legislation review.

"The Attorney-General can be thanked for the way he has brought us to this stage, beginning with the Legislation Act 2012 and moving through to the revision programme," she says.

"An accessible and understandable statute book is a key ingredient of an accessible justice system. We have now taken a big step closer."