In 2013, the High Court set out its expectations for the delivery of judgments and advised of an enquiry process for older judgments.
The Court has now set a standard that 90% of its judgments are to be delivered within three months of the hearing or receipt of final submissions. The long vacation periods are not included within this time period.
At the same time, the Court set in place an enquiry process for parties and counsel to ask the local court manager to inquire about the likely time of delivery when the three month period has passed. The judge is not told who has made the inquiry and the court manager will normally be able to provide the inquirer and all other parties with the likely date of delivery in writing.
Inquirers are asked to provide their status (such as plaintiff/defendant or legal representative), the names of parties, the relevant court number and the date the judgment was reserved.
In some cases, the judge may advise the parties in advance that the decision is likely to take longer than three months where the case is particularly complex. On occasion, that timeframe may also not be able to be met.
The Court’s judgment delivery standard and enquiry process can be found on the Courts of New Zealand website at