Attorney-General Robert McClelland today welcomed the passage of legislation through Parliament that will help ensure Trans-Tasman legal disputes can be more easily resolved and at a lower cost.
McClelland said the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Amendment and Other Measures Bill 2011 will bring the legal systems of Australia and New Zealand closer together.
The laws have been a long time coming. State and Territories agreed to implement a more streamlined approach to cross-country litigation in April 2009.
McClelland announced today that the reforms passed by Parliament will align the legal systems of the two countries.
“Under the changes, litigation between parties located in Australia and New Zealand will become more like litigation between parties in the same country," said McClelland.
“The reforms will streamline and simplify procedures for the service of process, the recognition and enforcement of judgments, obtaining and giving evidence and appearing remotely.
“It will help businesses and individuals resolve Trans-Tasman legal disputes more efficiently, effectively and cheaply.
“Trade in goods and services between Australia in New Zealand was worth more than $21 billion last year, so it’s inevitable that some commercial legal disputes will arise," he said.
“These reforms will provide businesses and individuals with greater certainty when undertaking business across the Tasman by making it easier to resolve disputes.
”The Bill amends the Trans-Tasman Proceedings legislation to mirror the equivalent legislation passed in New Zealand.
“Australia and New Zealand have entered the final phase of implementing these reforms. Officials in both countries are working hard to bring the changes into operation at the earliest opportunity.”