Changing relationship between Britain and New Zealand: (1945-2003: Legal…
Changing relationship between Britain and New Zealand:
1945-2003: Legal Independence from Britain:
New Zealand Constitution (Amendment) Act (IMP) 1947 = British Parliament gave NZ the power to alter the New Zealand Constitution Act 1985
1980's: NZ and UL relationship had moved from that of imperial centre and colony to that of two close but independent nations. NZ is technically still a dominion - a self-governing territory within British Commonwealth. Until such time as we become a republic, our legal and constitutional ties with Britain will remain strong.
Supreme Court Act 2003 (End of the Privy Council).
Imperial Laws Application Act 1988, wiping all English Legislation from the NZ statute books except the most important documents like Magna Carta
Constitution Act 1986 - repealed NZCA 1982: No power for Britain to make law for NZ.
Corbett v Social Security Commission 1962
NZ Court of Appeal followed the Privy Council and decided that the House of Lords (Eng) had no formal jurisdiction over NZ Courts.
Legislative Council Abolition Act 1950
NZ Constitution Amendment (Request and Consent) Act 1947 = NZ request and consented to Britain passing law so NZ could alter its constitution
Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947
Statute Of Westminster Adoption Act 1947:
This adoption did not automatically give NZ the power to change the CA, but NZ could request the change to Britain under s4.
Adopted to allow the abolishment of the Upper House, through amending the 1852 CA..
Took NZ 16 years to adopt because: NZ had very strong cultural and economic ties with Britain. NZ made large sacrifices during WWI. NZ Economy depends on agricultural exports in the British markets. Did not want to undermine these by voluntarily choosing greater constitutional indeendence.
Statute of Westminster 1931:
Britain gives most colonies full independence. Repeals Colonial Laws validity Act 1865, allowing any laws to be made. If they need British assistance, they're there.
Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865:
Extended the independence of NZ legislature by giving us the opportunity to make laws that CONFLICTED with Britain, with the acceptance there is no direct British law that states otherwise FOR NZ.
New Zealand Wars: 1845-1872
All the laws that follow are able to assert British laws over NZ because Britains won over Maori.
Determined the fate of NZ legal system, fight over sovereignty of land.
NZ Constitutional Act 1852: Established NZ constitutional structure
Only allowed the NZ Parliament to make laws for the 'peace, order and good government of NZ' providing they did not conflict with any British law.
The NZCA 1852 included a number of entrenches provisions that could be amended by Britain. The Act was imperial and could only be repealed by Britain.
Importance of the CA:
Isn't full independence but a step in the right direction.
Responsible government begins, ministers are responsible to government, ministers and prime minister, reflective on British system.
Set up by the legislative body: 6 provinces. Abolished in 1875 as NZ was too small to sustain duplicate systems of government and NZ's political system became increasingly centralized.
Two Houses of Parliament:
Legislative Council (upper house), act as a check on the House of Representatives, appointed by the Governor.
House of Representatives (lower house), involving adult males who owned a certain amount of property. Able to pass legislation, most powerful of the houses. Ministers of the Crown were responsible to parliament, creating a
Constitutional variations from England:
There was no Parliament, just small groups of men lead by Governor who answered directly to Britain, meaning laws had to be consistent with that of Britain.
AT THIS TIME: Colonists were completely outnumbered by Maori, only there because Maori allowed them to be, first 15 years of NZ colonial history.
Legislature: in Britain included hundreds of politicians, but NZ only had 7, The Governor, Colonial Secretary, Attorney-General, Colonial Treasurer, three Justices of the Peace.
Judiciary: NZ consisted of two men, Chief Justice William Martin (head of the supreme court) and Henry Chapman (associate Supreme Court judge). This meant NZ could finally create case law that is developed in our won court, even if still under the british influence.
Steps to colonisation:
1907: NZ became a Dominion.
Letters Patent: Nov 1840 - creating NZ as a Crown colony, separate from NSW.
ToW: signed with Hobson as representative of the Crown and Maori Chiefs. The British saw the treat as a cession of sovereignty on the part of Maori, whereas Maori saw it as a commitment to an ongoing governing partnership and a guarantee of property rights.
English laws Act 1858: NZ inherited all the laws of England as at 14 Jan 1840.
The meeting of two legal systems: Maori and English;
1840: Maori customary law was swept aside, replaced with English common law and statutory law.
1839: NZ if effectively annexed to NSW. In prep for NZ becoming its own colony, NSW is expanded.
The 1830's: Britain was being nudged to make NZ a colony, makes basic constitutional moves, declaration of Independecne 1835.
1769: Britain was not interested at this time, so Maori Customary Law was followed.