The Judicature Modernisation Bill, aimed at modernising the 100-year old law underpinning New Zealand's courts, has passed its first reading. The Bill also seeks to reform important aspects of the Arbitration Act 1996. This includes:

  • the introduction of a more efficient process for appointing arbitrators where parties are unable to agree on an appointment; and
  • recognising the use of emergency arbitration procedures to provide interim relief prior to the full arbitration.

The Bill has been referred to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for consideration and public submissions on the Bill close on 21 February 2014. The select committee is due to report back on the Bill in June 2014.

For a summary of the key provisions of the Bill click here.