Fundamental constitutional principles and values of New Zealand law
This is a single section from Chapter 4. Read the full chapter here.
Access to the courts
Legislation should not restrict the right of access to the courts.
The ability of the courts to review the legality of government action or to settle disputes is a key constitutional protection. Legislation that seeks to limit this right must be justified, and will generally be given a restrictive interpretation by the courts (see Chapter 28 for guidance on creating a system of appeal, review, and complaint). This principle does not prohibit a mandatory requirement to attempt a resolution by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or review processes before bringing court proceedings in appropriate cases (see Chapter 29 for guidance on designing legislation involving ADR).