The First Procedural Code in the British Empire: New Zealand 1856

Publisher:
Thompson Reuter
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
New Zealand Universities Law Review, 2017, 27 pp. 690 - 714
Issue Date:
2017
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In 1856 New Zealand enacted a new regime for civil procedure. In so doing, it became the first colony in the Empire to create a comprehensive code of civil procedure. Innovative and wide-ranging, its authors drew on multiple sites from around the Empire (and beyond), instituting reforms not yet possible in England, and establishing the foundations for New Zealand’s modern system of civil procedure. This article traces the origins of, and inspirations for, the 1856 Code. It focuses on two key aspects of reform: pleading and “fusion”. The article seeks to draw attention to the neglected history of procedure in general and to the place of New Zealand in the story of 19th century procedural reform in England and its Empire in particular.
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