Media

  1. The Human Rights Review Tribunal applies the Media guide for reporting the courts and tribunals: Edition 3.1, appropriately adapted to the Tribunal’s unique jurisdiction and processes.  See for example:
  2. Useful reference can also be made to the In-Court Media Review which includes (inter alia) the Report to Chief Justice on In-Court Media Coverage and the draft In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines - updated to 20 July 2015.

Non-party access to Human Rights Review Tribunal file

  1. Where a non-party seeks access to the documents held on a Tribunal file, the Tribunal, will have regard to ss 105, 107 and 108 of the Human Rights Act 1993 and to the High Court Rules, Part 3, Subpart 2 – Access to court documents, being rr 3.5 to 3.16, subject to all necessary modifications.  See IHC New Zealand v Ministry of Education (Non-Party Access to Tribunal File) [2013] NZHRRT 2 (31 January 2013) at [6] to [12].
  2. Where the substantive hearing has not yet taken place, the relevant High Court Rules (by analogy) are r 3.13 and r 3.16 which provide:
3.13 Applications for permission to access documents, court file, or formal court record other than at hearing stage

(1)     This rule applies whenever the permission of the court is necessary under these rules and is sought to access a document, court file, or any part of the formal court record, except where access may be sought under rule 3.9.
(2)     An application under this rule is made informally to the Registrar by a letter that—

    1. identifies the document, court file, or part of the formal court record that the applicant seeks to access; and
    2. gives the reasons for the application.

(3)     The application is heard and determined by a Judge or, if a Judge directs the Registrar to do so, by the Registrar.
(4)     On receipt of an application made in accordance with subclause (2), the Judge or Registrar may direct that the person file an interlocutory application or originating application.
(5)     The applicant must give notice of the application to any person who is, in the opinion of the Judge or Registrar, adversely affected by the application.
(6)     The Judge or Registrar may dispense with the giving of notice under subclause (5) if it would be impracticable to require notice to be given.
(7)     The Judge or Registrar may deal with an application on the papers, at an oral hearing, or in any other manner the Judge or Registrar considers just.

3.16 Matters to be taken into account

In determining an application under rule 3.13, or a request for permission under rule 3.9, or the determination of an objection under that rule, the Judge or Registrar must consider the nature of, and the reasons for, the application or request and take into account each of the following matters that is relevant to the application, request, or objection:

    1. the orderly and fair administration of justice:
    2. the protection of confidentiality, privacy interests (including those of children and other vulnerable members of the community), and any privilege held by, or available to, any person:
    3. the principle of open justice, namely, encouraging fair and accurate reporting of, and comment on, court hearings and decisions:
    4. the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information:
    5. whether a document to which the application or request relates is subject to any restriction under rule 3.12:
    6. any other matter that the Judge or Registrar thinks just.
  1. Access to documents during the hearing stage is governed by r 3.9 which provides:
3.9 Access to documents during substantive hearing stage

(1)     This rule applies during the hearing of a proceeding (other than the hearing of an interlocutory application) and until—

    1. the close of the 20th working day after the court has given the final judgment on the proceeding; or
    2. the discontinuance of the proceeding before the final judgment is given.

(2)     During the period to which this rule applies, any person may access any of the following documents relating to the proceeding:

    1. any pleading, reference, notice, or application filed in the court:
    2. affidavits, depositions, or other written statements admitted into evidence for the purposes of the hearing:
    3. documents admitted into evidence for the purposes of the hearing:
    4. if any evidence given orally at the hearing has been transcribed, a transcript of that evidence.

(3)     Despite subclause (2), a Judge may, on his or her initiative or on request, direct that any document, or part of a document, relating to the proceeding not be accessed without the permission of a Judge.
(4)     A request for access to a document under this rule is made informally to the Registrar by letter that—

    1. identifies the requested document; and
    2. gives the reasons for the request.

(5)     The following provisions apply when a request for access to a document is made under subclause (4):

    1. the Registrar must promptly give the parties or their counsel a copy of the request:
    2. a party who wishes to object must, before the relevant deadline (within the meaning of rule 3.10), give written notice of the objection to the Registrar, to the person who made the request, and to the other parties or their counsel:
    3. on receipt of an objection, the Registrar must promptly refer the objection and the request to the Judge for determination:
    4. unless the document is subject to a restriction stated in subclause (3) or in rule 3.12, the Registrar must promptly give the person who made the request access to the document—
      1. if the Registrar receives no objection before the expiry of the relevant deadline (within the meaning of rule 3.10); or
      2. if the parties or their counsel earlier agree that the person be given access to the document:
    5. every request that relates to a document that is subject to a restriction stated in subclause (3) or in rule 3.12 is taken to be a request for the permission of a Judge, and must be promptly referred to the Judge by the Registrar.

(6)     The Judge may determine an objection referred to the Judge under subclause (5)(c) or a request for permission under subclause (3) or (5)(e) in any manner the Judge considers just.
(7)     For the purposes of subclause 2(b) and (c), admitted into evidence does not include evidence admitted provisionally.

  1. For significant decisions by the Tribunal on non-party access to the Tribunal file see:

Useful reference can also be made to the:

Rules Committee consultation paper Accessing Court Documents in Civil and Criminal Proceedings (11 May 2015) (external link)

New Zealand Law Commission Access to Court Records NZLC R93 (2006) (external link)

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