6.5 Copies of judgements

A judgment is a transcript of the judge’s decision. Access to court documents may be subject to the payment of a fee. 

Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court

If you have been in court, you should ensure that the court taker has your correct contact details as the court may email a copy of the decision to you directly.

Decisions of high public interest may be posted by the court on the Senior Courts website.(external link) Other decisions can be found on Judicial Decisions Online.(external link) Copies of judgments are also available from the court on application.

District Court

Some District Court decisions are available online at www.districtcourts.govt.nz(external link) from August 2016.  Where there are statutory reporting prohibitions or suppression orders, such as in most Youth Court and Family Court proceedings, the website will use different names or initials and remove all identifying information. 

About 4000 decisions a year are published.  Because of the volume of cases in the District Courts, not all decisions can be published. 

For decisions that are not published online, you will need to apply in writing to the court, giving specific information such as:

  • your name and contact details
  • the name of the defendant/parties
  • details of the charge (if it is a criminal matter)
  • the name of the judge
  • the date the judgment was given.

If the judgment is not available at that time, your request will be referred to the registrar and then to the judge who delivered the judgment.

If the request cannot be met, you will be advised of the reasons.

Environment Court

Environment Court decisions are available through the Court’s website.(external link)

Employment Court

Employment Court judgments are available through the Court’s website(external link).

Tribunals and authorities

Many decisions of tribunals and authorities that the Ministry provides administrative support to are available online (www.justice.govt.nz/courts/decisions/(external link)).

Other decisions may be obtained from the Ministry’s Tribunals Unit. The rules regarding availability of decisions will vary from body to body.

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