The NZ E-Discovery Blog  Facilitating proportionate and efficient e-discovery

Rules Committee approves new NZ discovery rules

August 30th, 2011

The New Zealand Rules Committee has approved the final draft of the new discovery rules.

The Courts of New Zealand website now outlines the current status with the rules –

At the meeting 22 August 2011, the Committee approved a draft set of rules on discovery, revised after a substantial period of consultation with the profession.  These rules have been sent off for concurrence and an Order in Council.

The rules are not publicly available and probably will not be until they have gone through all of the appropriate channels as there is still the chance (hopefully ever so remote) that they could still not be signed off. The intended commencement of these new rules still remains to be 1 February 2012. I know not having the final rules publicly available will be frustrating for many in the profession. The not knowing of what the final rules are, could limit the preparation of firms to ensure they can comply with the changes, although it is now a matter of not if, but when they will be released. I will provide updates through my blog as and when the rules can be made public.

For those wanting to know what the final rules entail, the rules that were signed off at the Rules Committee only contained slight amendments to those that were put up for consultation last month. The obligations within the Discovery Checklist (which must be addressed on all matters), and also the Exchange Protocol remain the same as they were in the final draft that was made public. The limited changes at least allows firms to start making arrangements if there are any practical changes they need to make to deal with the new discovery obligations.

For those who want more in-depth commentary on the new rules, they should consult the series of articles I have posted over the last month on The NZ E-Discovery Blog. I have a couple upcoming posts which will look further into the new rules. As the new reforms get closer, I will keep all updated through my blog, which has the purpose of raising the awareness of electronic discovery in NZ.

Over the course of the coming weeks I will be providing details of the seminars that the NZ Law Society will be running to inform the profession about the new rules. In addition to these Law Society sessions, I will be providing tailored training sessions to best prepare firms to comply with the new practical requirements contained within the rules (notably the new requirements in the Discovery Checklist and the Exchange Protocol). Please contact me for further information about these sessions.



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