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Aust and NZ govts move to improve trans-Tasman laws

Australian and NZ govts move to improve trans-Tasman laws
15 January 2009
CANBERRA, Jan 14 AAP - People hoping to dodge fines or convictions for breaking the law by fleeing to New Zealand will soon find it harder to do so.

Australia and New Zealand's governments will introduce legislation aimed at removing trans-Tasman red tape making legal disputes cheaper, more efficient and less complicated.

The legislation follows the signing of the Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement Treaty in July 2008.

A number of significant changes will occur under the Treaty, including expanding the range of court judgments enforced across the Tasman, and simplifying the legal process.

Fines imposed in one country will also be enforceable in the other.

"Making it easier and more cost effective for Australian and New Zealand businesses and individuals to resolve disputes will further encourage trade between our two countries," Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said in a statement.

With the global financial crisis likely to increase the number of legal cases, it was important legal processes were simplified, NZ Justice Minister Simon Power said.

The reforms strengthen cooperation between the countries, and recognises the confidence that each nation has in the judicial and regulatory institutions of the other, the statement from Mr McClelland's office says.

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