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The Supreme Court has held that a woman who became pregnant following a failed sterilisation had suffered a "personal injury" caused by medical misadventure, for which she was entitled to cover under the state compensation scheme. As a result, the woman could not sue the medical professional who was responsible. The decision is a reversal of an earlier Court of Appeal decision.
The High Court has recently ruled that warrants used by the New Zealand police to undertake a search of the New Zealand residence of Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, on behalf of the US government were unlawful and that the conduct of the police exceeded what would have been permitted even if the warrants were lawful.
A recent judgment extended the protection afforded to lien holders when the property subject to their lien is arrested. The court held that an application for arrest by a possessory lien holder and the subsequent handover of possession of the vessel to the admiralty registrar did not destroy the possessory lien, so that the lien holder was entitled to priority payment from the proceeds of sale of the vessel ahead of other claimants.
The much-publicised sale of a group of New Zealand farms to an overseas company has been stalled by a judicial review decision of the High Court. Consent had been granted by the ministers of finance and land information on the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office, but the court overturned the decision, finding that the office and the ministers had misdirected themselves regarding a key test.
A new set of High Court discovery rules has been designed to reduce the often disproportionate cost of discovery - a matter of increasing concern in New Zealand and other common law jurisdictions. Key features include a new standard for discoverability, a presumption in favour of electronic exchange and the creation of an express obligation to preserve documents.
The Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act is intended to support closer economic ties with Australia through commercial regulatory enforcement, and aims to make it easier for individuals and businesses to resolve trans-Tasman legal disputes through the courts. Trans-Tasman litigation will be different from New Zealand litigation involving parties in other countries.
In October 2011 the MV Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef, resulting in over 1,000 tonnes of waste collecting on the coastline of New Zealand's North Island. The master and second officer have been sentenced to seven months' imprisonment; the shipowner, if convicted, faces a fine of up to NZ$600,000 for discharging harmful substances into water from a ship, plus up to NZ$10,000 for every day that the offence continues.
The Transport and Industrial Relations Committee has completed a report on its 2010-2011 financial review of Maritime New Zealand. The report focused on the initial response and continuing work on the clean-up following the grounding of the CV Rena on the Astrolabe Reef, near Tauranga in the North Island.
A recent judgment by the High Court in its admiralty jurisdiction extended the protection afforded to lien holders when the property subject to their lien is arrested. The court held that an application for arrest by a possessory lien holder and the subsequent handover of possession of the vessel to the admiralty registrar did not destroy the possessory lien.
New Zealand has a statutory regime that imposes strict liability on contracting carriers for goods carried domestically, regardless of whether the damage was caused by them or by a separate actual carrier. In exchange for this strict liability, contracting carriers can limit their liability to NZ$1,500 a unit. A recent High Court decision has explored the limits of this statutory regime.
The High Court recently confirmed that the statutory two-year limitation period for claims arising out of vessel collisions applies whenever the proceeding is one in which the High Court has admiralty jurisdiction. The new Limitation Act 2010 does not contain an exclusion for claims enforceable in rem and the six-year time limit will apply to such claims unless a more specific limitation applies.