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Wilson Harle | New Zealand |

Chris Browne

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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 26 May 2020

First judicial consideration of COVID-19 decisions

The High Court recently issued a decision on a judicial review application which challenged the lawfulness of exemption decisions made pursuant to an order under the Health Act and sought urgent interim relief. The decision was the first consideration by the court of the lawfulness of actions taken during the exercise of the sweeping powers assumed by the government in response to the......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 28 Aug 2018

Contractual penalties again

A recent High Court decision adopted the perspective taken in the United Kingdom and Australia on the contractual penalties rule, shifting focus from a comparison between secondary obligations and genuine pre-estimates of damage caused by breach to comparing secondary obligations and the innocent party's performance interest. The decision confirmed the continued relevance of Dunlop Pneumatic......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 22 Aug 2017

Supreme Court upholds smoking ban in mental health facilities

The Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on smoking in public mental health facilities, ruling that the ban did not breach patients' rights, even of those compulsorily detained on the property. The court held that there was no requirement under the Smoke-free Environments Act to provide a dedicated smoking room, and rejected the appellant's claim that the smoking prohibition infringed a number......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 15 Aug 2017

Breach of disclosure requirements aborts complex financial crime trial

The High Court recently aborted the trial of four company directors of two failed finance companies after the prosecution disclosed an unprecedented number of previously undisclosed documents at an advanced stage of the trial. The court's careful examination of the principles for aborting a single-judge trial will be useful in similar cases, in light of the fact that, because complex......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 8 Aug 2017

Court of Appeal upholds prisoner voting rights declaration

The Court of Appeal recently upheld a High Court declaration that a prohibition on prisoners voting is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. The case is significant in its finding that the courts have jurisdiction to make declarations of inconsistency. Although the courts have, from the time of the act's enactment, been committed to granting remedies where possible to vindicate rights,......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 25 Apr 2017

Restricted scope of judicial review for government procurement decisions restored by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal recently reversed, on appeal, a High Court judgment setting aside the Ministry of Health's decision to award problem gambling services contracts to parties other than the applicant, the Problem Gambling Foundation, a major incumbent provider. The decision is important because it significantly decreases the likelihood of unsuccessful bidders being able to use the government......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 31 Jan 2017

Litigation funding in New Zealand

Unlike other common law jurisdictions, New Zealand has not legislated to extinguish or restrict the torts of maintenance and champerty. Nonetheless, the courts have adopted a pragmatic approach to the management of third-party funded litigation, which recognises the benefits of third-party litigation funding in promoting access to justice, while leaving certain issues arising under the torts......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 29 Nov 2016

Appeal comprehensively clarifies prospectus liability

The Court of Appeal recently reviewed important aspects of liability under New Zealand securities legislation. The decision is a useful confirmation of a number of securities law liability issues which have been gradually clarified through a series of cases following the collapse of most of New Zealand's finance companies during the global financial crisis. It also offers guidance on the......
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Wilson Harle | New Zealand | 8 Nov 2016

Supreme Court rules on lessee's obligations for remediation of subsurface contamination

The Supreme Court recently reversed a Court of Appeal decision, holding that Mobil Oil NZ Ltd was not responsible for remedying the contamination of land that it and its predecessors had occupied from 1925 to 2011. The Supreme Court ruled that the clause requiring Mobil to keep and deliver up the premises in good order did not extend to a requirement for it to remediate the subsurface of the......
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Wilson Harle | Kazakhstan, New Zealand | 2 Aug 2016

Cloud storage operator ordered to disclose user details for use in foreign proceeding

The High Court recently ordered an internet cloud storage company to disclose user information to Kazakhstan for use in a US proceeding. The judgment provides a useful overview of the principles considered by courts when faced with requests for assistance from foreign courts and fuels discussion around balancing the provision of information with local privacy legislation against a background......
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