Development of the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010
In December 2006, the Trans-Tasman Working Group on Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement delivered their final report. The report make ten recommendations detailing how the legal framework for resolving civil disputes with a trans-Tasman element might be improved.
Trans-Tasman Working Group on Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement
In 2003, former Prime Ministers the Hon John Howard MP and the Rt Hon Helen Clark MP agreed to create a trans-Tasman working group to examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the framework governing private civil litigation proceedings between the two countries.
The working group was chaired by Ian Govey from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and Andrew Bridgman from the New Zealand Ministry of Justice.
The working group produced a discussion paper in August 2005 which invited submissions on the issues within the Working Group’s Terms of Reference.
The central recommendation of the working group was that a trans-Tasman regime modelled on the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) (SEPA) be introduced between the two countries. The SEPA governs Australian interstate service of any initiating process issued out of a state or territory court. The regime effectively extends personal jurisdiction of all state and territory courts to the whole of Australia and gives them all the right to compel the appearance of any person in the country.
The working group received thirty-two submissions from various law councils, private firms, academics and public institutions on both sides of the Tasman.