Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Law Commission of New Zealand Report on Organization of Statutes

Today, the Law Commission of Law Zealand tabled its report on the Presentation of Statute Law in the national parliament.

According to the foreword:

"The New Zealand statute book is both massive and unmanageable."

"The New Zealand statute book has no index. This report recommends one. It is difficult to navigate one’s way around the New Zealand statute book. It is easy to overlook important provisions because they are not where they may be expected to be."

"Now that all New Zealand statutes are accessible on-line free of charge to everyone, things are much better than they were. But the new technology allows us to make more improvements still. We need to do better in arranging our statute book so that people who need to use it can find their way around it more
easily. We need to have better ways of weeding out outdated legislation that is no longer used. "

"We also have a bad habit in New Zealand of passing big amending Acts, sometimes on several occasions. This has the consequence of rendering incoherent the statute as a whole. It would be better in many instances to start again and re-enact the whole thing rather than adopt a sort of cut and fill approach."

"This report contains some quite far-reaching recommendations. It recommends an index to New Zealand statute law so the law can be found. It recommends a programme of weeding out statutes that are out-of-date. It recommends a systematic programme for revising statutes in a way to ensure that they are user-friendly. It recommends that the historical statutes that are in danger of self-destructing be saved. "

"The New Zealand statute book is perhaps the most important part of New Zealand’s legal infrastructure. We did a far better job 100 years ago of arranging our statute book, revising it and keeping it up-to-date than we do now. It is time to recapture the best of our old traditions and pay attention to something that really does matter."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:39 pm


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