New Zealand Law Society - Rise in homicide trials in High Court

Rise in homicide trials in High Court

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The Chief High Court Judge has revealed the Court heard more homicide trials than previous years.

There were 13 more homicide cases in 2019 compared to 2018, an increase of 23%.

In his annual review of 2019, Justice Geoffrey Venning also noted that the High Court improved its distribution of judgments.

Furthermore, he says, there was an increase in civil proceedings filed in Auckland and a significant reduction in filings of earthquake related proceedings in Christchurch during 2019.

In terms of workload, over the 12 months, the High Court delivered 3,497 judgments. The court has set a standard of 90% of civil judgments delivered within three months of the hearing or last submissions. In 2019 the result was 92.1%.

In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the court considers judgments over six months old to be delayed beyond a reasonable time.

The review notes there were there were two judgments outstanding beyond a reasonable time – six months. However, from 1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019, a further six judgments became outstanding beyond a reasonable time.

It also notes that the Ministry of Justice began refurbishments of the Auckland and Wellington courthouses during the year.

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