Ākarana Chambers has had to close its physical office in High Street along with the rest of New Zealand as we move into COVID Alert Level 4 lockdown.
However, Gary, Courtney and Judy are working remotely from their home offices and are available to handle instructions and give advice as usual. You can contact Gary via the usual email address or the “Contact” button on this website.
Otherwise, use of mobile phone number (not landline) is best at this time:
Gary mobile +6421477780
Courtney mobile +642102310288
Access to the Courts is still available – courts are considered an essential service, and our Chief Justice has said they “must continue to uphold the rule of law and to ensure that fair trial rights, the right to natural justice and rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act are upheld.”
- But only priority cases are to be heard at present
- The courts are moving to more online/remote hearings (by audio-visual link or phone) and we expect further details in coming days
The protocols for each court differ as to what they consider “priority” at the moment. For example, in the High Court, this currently means primarily these types of proceedings:
i. Custodial remands (criminal cases)
ii. Bail applications, appeals, and breaches (criminal)
iii. Habeas corpus applications (criminal or lockdown
iv. Remand, case review, sentencings and sentence indications
which may affect custodial status (criminal)
v. Criminal appeals
vi. Civil appeals including those from the Family Court involving
care of children and Hague Convention issues
vii. Applications by Police and Corrections authorities
viii. Applications for civil remedies including injunctions,
freezing orders and interim orders in judicial review proceedings (urgent
commercial and non-criminal cases)
ix. Urgent caveat matters
(land, property, mortgage or security case)
x. Urgent probate matters (wills and estates)
Ordinary commercial, contract and civil cases can still be processed, but we can expect delays as they are not on the high priority list above.
Each of the main Regulators that we deal with is reacting to things in their own way and, like most of us, having to invent novel solutions as well as send most of their staff to work from home. Police and certain regulators in some cases will have greater powers under the State of Emergency laws being passed for COVID purposes but still have to respect the law and due process for other investigations and approvals.
Gary will post further information on the website dealing with the main Regulator Responses to the crisis as details come to hand…
- Speak to Gary for specific advice about court matters, issues with regulators or government agencies, or any other aspect of COVID upheaval.
Stay safe, be kind, uphold the law.