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Report No. 192

New Zealand:

Section 88A of the Judicature Act, 1908 relates to "Restriction on institution of vexatious actions" and reads as follows:

"Section 88A: (1) If, on an application made by the AttorneyGeneral under this section, the High Court is satisfied that any person has persistently and without any reasonable ground instituted vexatious legal proceedings, whether in the High Court or in any inferior Court, and whether against the same person or against different persons, the Court may, after hearing that person or giving him an opportunity of being heard, order that no civil proceeding or no civil proceeding against any particular person or persons shall, without the leave of the High Court or a Judge thereof, be instituted by him in any Court and that any civil proceeding instituted by him in any Court before the making of the order, shall not be continued by him without such leave.

(2) Leave may be granted subject to such conditions, (if any) as the Court or Judge thinks fit and shall not be granted unless the Court or Judge is satisfied that the proceeding is not an abuse of the process of the Court and that there is prima facie ground for the proceeding.

(3) No appeal shall lie from an order granting or refusing leave."

We may also refer to section 477 of the High Court Rules (Part 5) relating to stay or dismissal. That section reads:

"Section 477: Summary stay or dismissal: When in any proceeding, it appears to the Court that in relation to the proceeding generally or in relation to any claim for relief in the proceeding -

(a) No reasonable cause of action is disclosed, or

(b) The proceeding is frivolous or vexatious, or

(c) The proceeding is an abuse of the process of the Court, the Court may order that the proceeding be stayed or dismissed generally or in relation to any claim for relief of the proceeding."

The Harassment Act, 1997: (NZ)

Section 32 of this Act again deals with vexatious proceedings. It reads thus

"Section 32 - Vexatious Proceedings:

(1) A Court may dismiss any proceedings before it under this Act if it is satisfied that they are frivolous or vexatious or are abuse of the procedure of the Court.

(2) If a Court is satisfied that a person has persistently instituted vexatious proceedings under this Act (whether against the same person or against different persons) the Court may make an order prohibiting that person from commencing any proceedings under this Act, or proceeding of any special kind or against any specified person, without leave of the Court.

(3) A Court must not make an order under subsection (2) prohibiting a person from commencing proceedings without giving that person an opportunity to be heard.

(4) Nothing in this section applies in respect of criminal proceedings;

(5) Nothing in this section limits any other power of the Court to dismiss proceedings.

New Zealand Law Commission:

We may here refer to the fact that in May 2000, the New Zealand Law Commission has given an exhaustive Report (42 pages) on the subject of 'Costs in Criminal Cases'. We are not going into details as it is not necessary for the purpose of the present Report.

Prevention of Vexatious Litigation Back

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