13.30The Supreme Court Act 2003 is a relatively recent statute. Hence, much less modernisation of language or provisions is required than for, say, the Judicature Act 1908.
13.31If there is to be a unitary statute, in our view the Supreme Court Act should be consolidated in that Courts Act. If the decision is made in favour of binary statutes, then the present Supreme Court Act should be incorporated into the proposed Senior Courts Act.
13.34Our provisional view was that there is an issue of principle regarding whether the Supreme Court should have final oversight of all legal questions in New Zealand. However, it was obvious that some significant issues of public policy might be raised in relation to important statutes. We suggested that it might be appropriate to have an “appellate pathways” reference advanced to the Commission where these matters could be distinctly considered.
13.35Little in the way of submissions was received on the issue of appeals to the Supreme Court. Since Issues Paper 29 was published, the matter has been discussed with the Minister of Justice who has indicated that she is not presently minded to extend a reference to the Commission to consider this subject. If work is to be undertaken on this general issue in the future, it would appear therefore that it will need to be attended to within the Ministry of Justice.
13.36From a statutory drafting point of view, if changes are to be made to the “precluded” avenues of appeal, amendments would need to be made to the particular statutes that confer jurisdiction on other courts.
13.38In the circumstances, and given the Minister’s advice, we make no recommendation regarding appeals to the Supreme Court.