Learn about the justice system is for students, school teachers, other educational institutions and anyone who wants to learn how the justice system works in New Zealand.

You can find information about who makes, applies and enforces the law in New Zealand’s system of government. And you can learn about New Zealand’s constitution – the basis of all our law. In a section on different streams of law and the role of New Zealand’s courts you can explore the criminal and the civil justice system by reading the stories of:

If you're a school teacher you can go to the ideas for teachers page for more teaching resources and links to the New Zealand Curriculum.

The guide to legal language helps explain the language used throughout the justice system.

Visit a court

Visiting a court can be a valuable educational experience. 

If you're a teacher planning a court visit with your students, it is important to contact the court in advance. It may be possible to arrange for court staff to meet with your group. While all courts (except the Youth Court and the Family Court) are open to the public, it is important to check that the case you are planning to observe is suitable for your students.

To make an enquiry about group visits contact your local District Court, High Court or the Court of Appeal(external link)

To find out about tours of New Zealand’s highest court, contact the visitors centre at the Supreme Court(external link)

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