Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal
Protocol for the COVID-19 Protection Framework
4 April 2022


Introduction
The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has put the following additional safety measures in place to reduce the risk of hearing participants being exposed to COVID-19. These measures will apply to all hearings while the COVID-19 Protection Framework (or “traffic light system”) is in place.

When do these safety measures start?
1. These measures apply in respect of hearings on and after 5 April 2022.

Who can attend a hearing in person?
2. Participants can attend in person.  For hearings of one day or more the Chairperson may ask participants to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on the morning of the hearing, before Court commences.  The case officer will notify participants prior to the hearing day, if this is required.  If participants are asked to take a RAT, and any participant declines to do so, the Chairperson will determine whether and how the hearing will proceed. If any participant tests positive, the Chairperson will determine on a case by case basis whether and how the hearing may be able to continue.

Media Access
3. Accredited news media will have entry to the court in order to report court proceedings, and to ensure continued open and transparent justice. Remote access for accredited news media will continue to be facilitated where possible.

What other safety measures are in place?
4. Everyone who attends the Tribunal in person must comply with the following health and safety requirements (and any other requirements advised by staff at the Court or hearing facility):

  • Wear a facemask in the building and in the hearing room, unless an exemption applies, or unless the Chairperson of the Tribunal approves its removal in the hearing;
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others (unless they are a person attending with you);
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in the hearing room; and
  • Masks will be available in the hearing room for those who do not have their own mask.
5. Any concerns about health and safety practices in the Court should be raised with the Court Manager or Site Manager in the first instance.  In the event of community transmission in your area, public health advice will be taken and further measures may be put in place.

Other aspects of the Tribunal’s processes
6. While the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 is in force, the Tribunal will, as far as is reasonably practicable, operate in its usual manner.

7. There may, in some cases, need to be changes to the way the Tribunal operates, including by conducting hearings entirely by remote participation (virtual meeting room, MS Teams or telephone), or by requiring that documents be emailed rather than posted or delivered.  Where hearings are conducted by MS Teams, the recording of the hearing will be initially stored in an offshore Microsoft cloud-based service in Australia.  After the hearing, it will be downloaded into the Ministry server and stored on the same basis as for in person hearings.

8. Parties affected by any change to the Tribunal’s usual operating procedures will be advised of those changes and provided with information to ensure that they understand how their matter will be handled by the Tribunal.

9. This Protocol applies until revoked or modified by the Tribunal.

10. The Tribunal’s previous Protocol dated 4 March 2022 is modified.

Dale Clarkson
Chairperson


The Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal hears and determines disciplinary charges against members of the legal and conveyancing professions.

These charges are referred to the tribunal by a standards committee of the New Zealand Law Society or New Zealand Society of Conveyancers, or the Legal Complaints Review Officer.

The tribunal also receives applications regarding suspension, striking off, revocation of orders and restoration of practitioners to the roll or register.

  • About the tribunal

    The Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal was established under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

  • Apply

    How to apply for a review.

  • Hearing process

    There are various procedures to be followed when proceedings are commenced, including pre-trial conferences and actual preparation for hearing.

  • Upcoming hearings

    Dates, times and location of upcoming hearings.

  • Forms and fees

    The forms and fees you will need to apply for a review.

  • Decisions

    Use our decision finder to search online for decisions by the tribunal.

  • Contact us

    How to contact the tribunal.

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