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Commercial law

Introduction to commercial law

The New Zealand Law consists of the Statutes or Acts of the New Zealand Parliament, common
law, Bylaws, some Acts of the British Parliament, forms of subordinate Acts made under some
statutory authority.
Nature and Sources of New Zealand Law
Common law mostly referred to as the case law has its origin in the original courts of England.
They are judge made laws that have been built up over the years by the courts initially in Britain
then later in New Zealand. The common law generally continues to expand and grow. Courts
make no laws but they only declare interpret what the law says and what it is has been. The
policy in New Zealand is to preserve and maintain the uniformity with all sections of the
common law. The major reason is because of convenience and also partly because of the
prevailing assumption that in New Zealand there is only one existing single common law, i.e. the
law of England, and that they are similar but separate, that’s they are different countries. Case
laws and judicial precedent also formed the basis of some judicial decisions.
The statutes from the United Kingdom i.e. those passed before the year 1840 which were
applicable to the original colony as at that time, and subsequently those that were passed between
the years 1840 and 1947 and which were applicable and extended to New Zealand. The Statute
of the Westminster was also adopted in the year 1947. (Spiller, Finn, and Boast, 1995) These
were the imperial legislation which were replaced by the New Zealand Acts. For instance, the
provisions that related to the habeas Corpus and the enactment of the legislation dealing wills.

Law 2
The writs also formed the basis of the common law. These is a document that was written and
issued in kings name that required the recipient to perform some actions or something in order to
commence or start legal proceedings as needed by the claimant. The writs developed and later
became more important and specialized. During the early years the common courts prepared
cases on the basis of these writs. (McLintock, 1966)
The development of equity came about as a result of the inflexibility of the common law which
had failed to address some other issues of law that also affected the society. The chancellor was
given powers to compel court attendance in the form of a subpoena, provide remedies in the
form of specific performance or injunction. These equity laws are part of the current existing

Law 3


McLintock, A.H. (1966) An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Te Ara.

Spiller, P., Finn, J. and Boast, R. (1995) A New Zealand Legal History. Brookers,
Cooke, Robin QC (1969) Portrait of a Profession. The Centennial Book of the New Zealand

Law Society. Reed, Wellington. Chapter

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