Chapter 12
Jurisdiction of the courts


12.1This chapter considers whether the District Court should have concurrent jurisdiction with the High Court to exercise some or all of the powers under new trusts legislation.284  It also considers whether the Family Court should have jurisdiction to exercise any powers under new trusts legislation where matters involving trusts are otherwise before that court.
12.2In its 2004 report, Delivering Justice for All, the Law Commission recommended that the High Court retain exclusive or predominant jurisdiction in relation to trusts.285  Having now revisited that issue eight years later, we propose a different approach. This issue was discussed in the Fifth Issues Paper.286
284In this paper we will refer to the District Court and the Family Court in the singular, although there are in fact 63 District Courts and Family Courts located throughout New Zealand. Each District Court is separately constituted under the District Courts Act 1947. Each Family Court was established as a division of each District Court by the Family Courts Act 1980.
285Law Commission Delivering Justice for All (NZLC R85, 2004) at 262.
286Law Commission Court Jurisdiction, Trading Trusts and Other Issues: Review of the Law of Trusts – Fifth Issues Paper (NZLC IP28, 2011).