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Contract, Property

Blockchain technology will be “game changer” in conveyancing (26 April 2017) (UK)

Legal Futures UK

Blockchain-backed ‘smart contracts’ will be a “game changer” in property transactions, increasing certainty for buyers and sellers as well as speeding up the house-buying process, it has been claimed. His comments were made after a fraud-resistant blockchain-based title...

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Overseas couples match New Zealand couples in same-sex marriages (3 May 2017) (NZ)

Stats NZ

Half of all same-sex marriages and civil unions registered in New Zealand in 2016 were couples living overseas, compared with 11 percent of opposite-sex couples, Stats NZ said today. "Couples from Australia accounted for 58 percent of overseas same-sex couples coming here to marry,"...

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Employment

Vineyard labour contractor to pay $73,081.70 for employment law breaches (3 May 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

A viticulture labour contracting business has been ordered to pay $73,081.70 in penalties and arrears for breaching employment law following a Labour Inspectorate investigation. Marlborough based business Precise Contracting Limited was found to have failed to provide 83 employees with minimum...

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Judiciary

London seeks 350 magistrates to fill ageing bench (2 May 2017) (UK)

Law Society Gazette

he judiciary has embarked on a recruitment drive to fill magistrates benches across London in the wake of a wave of retirements and resignations over court closures. The London Magistrates' Advisory Service said today it is recruiting up to 350 magistrates. It wants to attract applicants of...

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Law Practitioners, Technology

Cyber Precedent (May 2017) (AUS)

Law Council of Australia

Law firms and legal practices represent an attractive target. Cybersecurity needs to be something lawyers normalise as part of our everyday working lives. The resources on this website have been custom-designed for legal professionals, to help ensure the integrity of the confidential and...

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Criminal

Full list of Justice Sector Seriousness Scores released (3 May 2017) (NZ)

New Zealand Law Society

Justice Minister Amy Adams has released a detailed list of Justice Sector Seriousness Scores. The long and detailed list (200 pages) released by Ms Adams includes offences such as "Fails to display Carless Day Sticker" (a hangover from the fuel crisis of the early 1970s with a...

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Competition

OIO gives consent for Sky and Vodafone merger (3 May 2017) (NZ)

New Zealand Law Society

The Overseas Investment Office has announced that consent has been granted to the merger of SKY Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand, more than two months after the Commerce Commission declined to grant clearance. The merger of these two companies required Overseas Investment Act...

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Company, Competition

Fairfax & NZME face difficult decision whether to appeal Commerce Commission determination (3 May 2017) (NZ)

Simpson Grierson

While the Commission's determination to decline clearance and authorisation of the merger is of little surprise, seeing as it reflected the draft determination released last year, the question remains whether Fairfax/NZME will appeal that determination. Competition partners Anne Callinan and...

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Family, Judiciary

NZ Bar backs Family Court amid controversy (1 May 2017) (NZ)

NZ Lawyer

The New Zealand Bar Association says that critics are placing undue blame on the Family Court even though there are better avenues to seek reforms of the system. “The aim of the collective to shine a light on domestic violence is to be commended. However, it would be more helpful for the...

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RBNZ release issues paper relating to review of capital requirements for registered banks (2 May 2017) (NZ)

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

The Reserve Bank announced in March that it will be conducting a review of the framework that is used to determine capital requirements for registered banks. Further to this review, an issues paper was released by the Reserve Bank on 1 May 2017. The issues paper has identified a number of...

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Costs, Law Practitioners

Litigation funding will become a fixture of NZ’s legal landscape, says top firm (1 May 2017) (NZ)

NZ Lawyer

Litigation funding is not only here to stay but will become an increasingly significant part of the New Zealand litigation landscape, MinterEllisonRuddWatts says in its latest “Litigation Forecast” report. Litigation funding is rapidly gaining traction in New Zealand, and several...

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Judiciary

In folksy talk, Justice Alito shares stories of inner workings of U.S. Supreme Court (27 April 2017) (USA)

American Bar Association

Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. walked a large crowd through the back chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 27, in an engaging discussion at the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law in Washington, D.C. In a conversation with Ron Cass, dean...

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Judiciary

Leading edge technologies to deliver new ways of working (26 April 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Justice

The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct will be fitted with the latest cloud-based and wireless telecommunications technology under an agreement recently signed between the Ministry of Justice and Spark. Read more

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Property

Gawpers go home: how luxury flat-owners could shut down the Tate's viewing platform (24 April 2017) (UK)

guardian.co.uk

Good walls make good neighbours – but not, it seems, when they are made entirely of glass. Five residents of the multi-million-pound Neo Bankside towers, which loom behind Tate Modern like a crystalline bar chart of inflated land values, have filed a legal claim against the museum to have...

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Media, Official Information, Privacy

Request for Police taser camera footage and tactical options report (26 April 2017) (NZ)

ombudsman.parliament.nz

Police were justified in withholding taser camera footage, but not the related tactical options report. New opinion from Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier. In August 2015, a journalist asked Police for the tactical options report (TOR) of a tasering incident, and also asked to view the...

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Bill of Rights, Privacy

New human rights to protect against 'mind hacking' and brain data theft proposed (26 April 2017) (UK)

guardian.co.uk

New human rights that would protect people from having their thoughts and other brain information stolen, abused or hacked have been proposed by researchers. The move is a response to the rapid advances being made with technologies that read or alter brain activity and which many expect to...

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Legal Services

ABA welcomes Federal Government funding injection into legal assistance sector (24 April 2017) (AUS)

Australian Bar Association

The Australian Bar Association has today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to commit an additional $55.7 million over the next three years to the community legal assistance sector in the upcoming 2017-18 Budget. Australian Bar Association President, Will Alstergren QC said,...

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Company

Proposed amendments to the Takeovers Code welcomed (19 April 2017) (NZ)

Simpson Grierson

Unlisted companies will need to meet a revenue and/or asset test before becoming subject to the Takeovers Code, under proposals released by the Takeovers Panel. The Takeovers Panel has recommended changes be made to the Takeovers Code - the most fundamental change affects the application of...

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Medical Practitioners, Mental Health

Young man's mental health care criticised (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Radio New Zealand

The Southern District Health Board failed to recognise that a mental health patient who later died was increasingly unwell, a health watchdog says. In a report today, Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan also faulted an unnamed psychiatrist at the DHB over the case in 2012 and 2013. The...

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Defamation

Little 'very pleased' no damages awarded in defamation case (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Radio New Zealand

A jury has cleared Labour leader Andrew Little of defaming Lani Hagaman and has been unable to reach a decision over Earl Hagaman's claims. The couple, who own Scenic Hotel Group, sued Mr Little in the High Court in Wellington. They said he had defamed them in statements linking a resort deal...

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Bill of Rights, Criminal Sentencing

Corrections to appeal ruling on murderer's toupee (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Radio New Zealand

The Department of Corrections will appeal against a High Court decision that ruled it breached Phillip John Smith's rights by not letting him wear a toupee behind bars. Smith is serving a life sentence for murdering the father of a boy he was sexually abusing. He challenged an Auckland...

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Resource Management

RMA reforms highlight climate change (9 April 2017) (NZ)

newsroom.co.nz

Councils will have to think much more carefully before they allow housing developments on flood plains and in low-lying coastal areas because of little-noticed reforms buried within the latest changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA). And, although these reforms don't apply to existing...

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Education

Teachers’ bill dead before being drawn (9 April 2017) (NZ)

newsroom.co.nz

This week, a private member's bill from long-serving Labour MP Ruth Dyson will be up for debate. Drawn from Parliament’s infamous biscuit tin last month, the Education (Teachers’ Code of Ethics) Amendment Bill wants to ensure teachers are not muzzled under an incoming Code of...

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Law Practitioners

Lawyers must learn to run their own race (10 April 2017) (AUS)

Lawyersweekly.com.au

Law is in a totally different ball game today than it was when Christine Smyth joined the legal profession over 20 years ago. Speaking to Lawyers Weekly about the brave new world the law graduates of 2017 face, the veteran lawyer and accredited succession law specialist explains how the...

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Judiciary

Senate invokes historic 'nuclear option' rules change to confirm Gorsuch (6 April 2017)) (USA)

guardian.co.uk

The US Senate made a historic rules change on Thursday that will dramatically alter nominations to the supreme court. By a vote of 52-48 along party lines, Republicans voted to end the filibuster for supreme court nominations, marking a permanent change to how justices are confirmed to the...

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Criminal, Technology

50 offenders convicted under cyber-bullying law (10 April 2017) (NZ)

NZ Lawyer

The Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 has resulted in 50 convictions and sentences in just over a year after the law came into effect. Since November 2016, the legislation has resulted in 132 charges filed, 77 criminal cases finalised, 4 diversions completed, 3 dismissals, and 1...

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Property

Landlords and property management companies put on notice to meet tenancy obligations (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Landlords and property management companies are on notice to ensure their properties meet the regulations set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), following a recent audit by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team....

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Employment

South Auckland auto valet to pay $241,451.66 for employment law breaches (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

An auto valet in South Auckland has been ordered to pay $241,451.66 in penalties and arrears after a Labour Inspectorate investigation found serious breaches of employment law. “For six years or more Manukau Auto Valet Limited deprived some 221 employees of their most basic employment...

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Privacy

Case note 277483 [2017] NZ PrivCmr 3 - CYF wrongly noted father had sexual abuse convictions (21 March 2013) (NZ)

Privacy Commissioner

A man complained to the Privacy Commissioner that Child Youth and Family (CYF) records incorrectly showed he had been jailed for sexual offending, and this information had never been corrected on his file. The man’s son was placed in CYF’s care in 1999. From 2001 to 2012, CYF...

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Competition

Property Brokers Manawatu and director fined $1.5m in price fixing case (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Commerce Commission

Property Brokers Limited and its director Tim Mordaunt have been ordered to pay penalties totalling $1.5 million in a judgment today of the High Court, following a hearing in March. Property Brokers and Mr Mordaunt are the final defendants to appear in Court in the Commerce Commission’s...

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Banking and Finance, Taxation

Upcoming changes to tax disclosure rules for investment income (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Chapman Tripp

Changes affecting tax administration obligations for interest, dividends, portfolio investment entity (PIE) income, taxable Māori authority distributions and royalties are in the pipeline. Once enacted, they will generally require more information more frequently from payers of investment...

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Banking and Finance, Taxation

Upcoming changes to tax disclosure rules for investment income (10 April 2017) (NZ)

Chapman Tripp

Changes affecting tax administration obligations for interest, dividends, portfolio investment entity (PIE) income, taxable Māori authority distributions and royalties are in the pipeline. Once enacted, they will generally require more information more frequently from payers of investment...

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Resource Management

Legal alert - Resource Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading (7 April 2017 ) (NZ)

Buddle Findlay

Yesterday the Government announced that the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading. This means that the Bill has been subject to a final debate and vote by the House of Representatives. The Bill proposes significant changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA),...

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Human Rights

Strengthening the UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (6 April 2017) (Intl)

United Nations

Following his analysis of the report of the High-Level External Independent Review Panel on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeeping Forces in the Central African Republic, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jane Holl Lute of the United States as...

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Privacy

Collection of NGO client data is excessive and disproportionate - Privacy Commissioner (5 April 2017) (NZ)

Privacy Commissioner

A Ministry of Social Development (MSD) policy requiring social service providers to disclose information about all their clients is excessive and inconsistent with the privacy principles, says Privacy Commissioner John Edwards. The Privacy Commissioner’s report, Inquiry into MSD...

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Criminal, Health, Maori

Public health care provider and Trust are victims of alleged fraud (4 April 2017) (NZ)

Serious Fraud Office

Two people have appeared at the Manukau District Court in relation to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution alleging fraud committed against a public health care provider for people with intellectual disabilities and a Trust set up to settle treaty claims. The pair were charged in January...

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Parliament

Legislation waiting to be brought into force by Order in Council As at 1 April 2017 (NZ)

Parliamentary Counsel Office

The table of legislation waiting to be brought into force by Order in Council has been updated, as at 1 April 2017. View the table

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Immigration

Travel agents warned not to risk unlawful immigration advice (30 March 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

The New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has launched a campaign to inform South African travel agents about what immigration assistance they can legally provide their clients. “Travel agents may receive an increase in requests for immigration help from those wishing to come...

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Employment

New employment laws in effect from 1 April 2017 (31 March 2017) (NZ)

Kensington Swan

Cancelled shifts may be costly for employers without cancellation clauses Employers who employ shift workers should consider including a cancellation clause in their employment agreements if they want to avoid paying the full cost of cancelled shifts. New legislation coming into effect on 1...

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Company

Lower company compliance costs ahead (23 March 2017) (NZ)

Chapman Tripp

The Regulatory Systems (Commercial Matters) Amendment Act has now been enacted and will generally come into force on 31 May 2017. It includes provisions which will reduce compliance costs for companies and for entities subject to the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA). Key changes:...

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Criminal

Employee charged for deception in Middle East (22 March 2017) (NZ)

Serious Fraud Office

A former employee of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (F&P Healthcare) has appeared in the Auckland District Court today on corruption related charges. Simon William Hall (49) faces one Crimes Act charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’ and two charges under Section 8 of the Secret...

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Banking and Finance

Snapshot of the financial advice regulatory reforms (22 March 2017) (NZ)

Bell Gully

​​​​​​​​​​An exposure draft of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill (the Draft Bill) and an accompanying consultation paper has been released. T ​The Draft Bill effectively introduces a new financial advice regime.​ New licensing requirements - Anyone...

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Law Practitioners

The secret to lawyers' happiness revealed (17 March 2017) (AUS)

Lawyersweekly.com.au

A Brisbane family lawyer has highlighted how legal professionals can find balance, health and subsequent longevity in their careers. Brisbane Family Law Centre director Clarissa Rayward (pictured) has written a new book titled, Happy Lawyer, Happy Life, offering a detailed analysis on how...

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Media

Academics call for laws to defuel ‘fake news’ (20 March 2017) (AUS)

Lawyersweekly.com.au

Two law professors have suggested that the best way to combat the so-called ‘fake news’ may be laws targeting online activities that intend to manipulate mainstream political discourse. Taking fuel away from the ‘fake news’ phenomenon is an imperative for national...

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Law Practitioners

US court: Commas are essential. Period. (20 March 2017) (USA)

Australasian Lawyer

The verdict is in and the use of the Oxford comma is deemed essential – at least when it comes to the law. No less than the US First Circuit Court of Appeals has defended the oft-contested use of the comma, in a decision that keeps alive a US$10m dispute in Portland, Maine. The court...

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Property

Landlord ordered to pay over $16,000 for unlawfully renting converted garage (17 March 2017) (NZ)

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

The Tenancy Tribunal at Manukau has ordered Manurewa landlord Satya Silan to refund $15,840 in rent and pay $750 in exemplary damages for renting an unconsented, converted garage as a separate household unit. The application was brought to the Tenancy Tribunal by the Ministry of Business,...

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Law Practitioners

Half of NZ lawyers still to make CPD declarations (16 March 2017) (NZ)

New Zealand Law Society

With 16 working days left until the final deadline, just over half of New Zealand's lawyers have still to make their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) declarations. At 9am on Thursday 16 March, 45% of practising lawyers had made their declarations. This was lower than the same time...

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Judiciary

Appointment of Judge of the Court of Appeal (16 March 2017) (NZ)

beehive.govt.nz

The Honourable Justice Denis Clifford has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today. Justice Clifford graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1978. He joined the Wellington law firm Buddle Anderson Kent &...

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Judiciary

Justice booklet highlights fresh thinking (16 March 2017) (NZ)

beehive.govt.nz

A new Ministry of Justice publication launched today by Justice Minister Amy Adams showcases how fresh thinking by talented people is helping to address complex issues in the justice sector. Ms Adams says the Justice: Our People, Our Communities booklet shares stories about people and...

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Property

Minister welcomes first landlord conviction under new law (17 March 2017) (NZ)

beehive.govt.nz

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team’s first successful prosecution of a landlord for renting a substandard property, under the Government’s tenancy...

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