Inquiry into De Novo Appeals to the County Court

Terms of Reference

Referred by the Governor in Council on 22 September 2005.

The Governor in Council, under section 12 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, requests that the Law Reform Committee of Parliament

Inquire into and report to Parliament on County Court Appeals with a particular regard to the following:

  1. the historical justifications for appeals from the Magistrate's Court to the County Court being heard de novo and whether such justifications continue to exist;
  2. the effects of the 1999 changes to County Court Appeals and the extent to which the procedures are applied in practice;
  3. the desirability or otherwise of any change having regard to any changes to the seriousness of offences heard by the Magistrates Court;
  4. the effect on the number of appeals should the current rights of appeal be changed;
  5. if that number would be reduced, the savings to the County Court which would follow;
  6. whether any proposed change would affect the way in which hearings in the Magistrates Court are conducted;
  7. if so, whether any anticipated gains in the County Court from the proposed change would be outweighed by additional costs in the Magistrates Court;
  8. in general, how the Magistrates Court and the County Court operate as one system, and what if any changes to that system will produce the best outcomes for the justice system.

This will be with a view to making recommendations on whether appeals from the Magistrate's Court to the County Court should continue to be hearings de novo, or whether they should be heard in some other way, and if so, what.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010