COVID-19 protocol for Human Rights Review Tribunal

Levels 3 and 4

1. Where in any area of New Zealand Alert Level 3 or Alert Level 4 applies, the Tribunal will not in that area hold in-person hearings unless circumstances of urgency or other compelling reason can be established and the hearing itself can be held and conducted in a manner which complies with all relevant alert level requirements. Hearings on the papers (including interim order applications), case management teleconferences and the delivery of decisions and minutes will continue.

2. Any scheduled oral in-person hearings in locations where Level 3 or 4 restrictions are in place will be vacated unless circumstances of urgency or other compelling reason can be established and the hearing itself can be held and conducted in a manner which complies with all relevant alert level requirements. The Case Manager will advise the parties.

3. Any scheduled teleconferences will proceed as scheduled. Telephone conferences on new matters will be scheduled as normal. Adjournments may be sought if required.

4. All documents are to be filed and served by email.

5. Timetable directions made prior to and during the Level 3 or Level 4 restrictions will continue to apply. Any variation of a timetable for any particular step must be sought before the date on which that step is to be completed.

6. Oral in-person hearings will not be scheduled. Where appropriate interlocutory matters before the Tribunal will be determined on the papers or, if required (and subject to the availability of the relevant technical facilities) by hearings by audio-visual link (AVL).


Levels 1 and 2

1. All documents are to be filed and served by email. Hard copy (four copies) must also be filed if any document is longer than 20 pages.

2. Any scheduled telephone conferences will proceed as scheduled and telephone conferences on new matters will be scheduled as normal.

3. Timetable directions made prior to and during the Level 1 or Level 2 restrictions will continue to apply. Any variation of a timetable for any particular step must be sought before the date on which that step is to be completed.

4. Matters before the Tribunal will be determined by way of oral in-person hearings, AVL hearings, hearings by telephone or on the papers as directed by the Tribunal. Where possible hearings vacated during Level 3 and Level 4 will be given priority when hearings are rescheduled.

Remote participation

In all cases the Tribunal will, either on application or on its own motion, consider remote means of participation by counsel, the parties and their witnesses provided such participation is practicable and fair in all the circumstances.

If you have any further questions, please email HRRT@justice.govt.nz

Rodger Haines ONZM QC
Chairperson Human Rights Review Tribunal
23 February 2021 

Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT), Te Taraipiunara Mana Tangata

 The Human Rights Review Tribunal hears claims relating to breaches of the:

Before making a claim to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, you must first make a complaint to either:

Claims could relate to discrimination, sexual harassment and racial harassment, privacy principles, and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

Awarding damages

The tribunal can award compensatory damages for losses suffered. Awards are typically for injury to feelings, humiliation and loss of dignity.

There is a $350,000 limit on the money the tribunal may award. This is the same as the District Court.

This page was last updated: