Open justice means being allowed to take notes in court

"There is no good reason why the starting point should be that note-taking is not allowed unless permission has been sought and granted"

Bringing the litigants in from the cold: Litigants attending case management conferences

In research I’m leading at the moment on whether there is undue delay in New Zealand High Court civil proceedings, co-funded by the NZ Law Foundation, I’ve been reflecting on the flow of information between the courts and litigants. The traditional model is that courts do not communicate directly with litigants. Lawyers are the agent …

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Innovating legal services – LawFest report

I attended the rather awkwardly named LawFest in Auckland this week, now in its seventh year, but a first time for me. It is a one-day event on legal technology and innovation and I was interested to see what was happening in New Zealand. The answer is, quite a bit, although we still lag compared …

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Junior Barristers as McKenzie Friends – a new form of affordable legal assistance?

The decision in Craig v Slater (2017) NZHC  874 is a very interesting one for access to legal assistance. The case involves two now notorious characters – Colin Craig, a politician, and Cameron Slater, a blogger. My interest here is in the decision to allow a paid McKenzie friend to sit next to Mr Craig …

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Triage – a clinical cover for under-resourcing?

Triage is a concept long associated with managing medical emergencies. The OED defines it as: The assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses in order to decide the order or suitability of treatment. Triage is done is three categories (hence the “tri”) with “1” being the most urgent and “3” the least. The …

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A Field Trip to the Bankruptcy List

I’ll come clean now about the fact that one of my favourite things to do in whatever town or city I’m in is to go into a court that is in session and watch. It isn’t everyone’s idea of tourism but I love to see the different styles of courtrooms, watch the local lawyers, and …

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Can we please stop talking about “Rolls Royce justice”?

I’m suggesting we drop the inaccurate, elitist analogy of "Rolls Royce justice" and choose our words and images more carefully. We use analogy because it is powerful; so let’s find a better one.