Woodhouse reprised: accident compensation and trans-Tasman integration

Mortensen, Reid (2013) Woodhouse reprised: accident compensation and trans-Tasman integration. Journal of Private International Law, 9 (1). pp. 1-38. ISSN 1744-1048


Australia and New Zealand have created a single civil judicial area, which gives all courts in each country a complete adjudicative jurisdiction and a barely qualified enforcement jurisdiction throughout the whole trans-Tasman market area. The risk of concurrent proceedings and incompatible judgments is minimised only by the power of courts to stay proceedings on the ground of forum non conveniens or when enforcing a choice-of-court agreement. The scheme rests on the 'strikingly similar' quality of the two countries' legal systems. However, New Zealand's Accident Compensation Act 2001 maintains a unique, comprehensive no-fault compensation scheme for accidents which also prohibits all court-based claims for compensation for personal injuries. It is 'strikingly dissimilar' to the common law systems of personal injuries compensation found in the Australian states. And, given that the Australian common law systems are often much more generous in the awards given for personal injuries, the New Zealand scheme has been a significant motivation for New Zealanders' forum shopping in Australia. This does not appear to have been addressed well by the new trans-Tasman scheme for civil jurisdiction. The article considers the confounding role that the Accident Compensation Act may continue to play in trans-Tasman civil jurisdiction, and its implications for the principles of forum conveniens, choice-of-law and the enforcement of personal injuries awards between Australia and New Zealand.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 23622
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Law
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2013 06:03
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 02:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: private international law; trans-Tasman; accident compensation; New Zealand; personal injuries
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180120 Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160607 International Relations
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180107 Conflict of Laws (Private International Law)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940406 Legal Processes
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9403 International Relations > 940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5235/17441048.9.1.1
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23622

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only