News Item

November 2019

Ground breaking report into Superdiverse parties in the courts says change is needed

The Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business has today released its report “Culturally, Ethnically and Linguistically Diverse Parties in the Courts: A Chinese Case Study”.

The report’s author, Mai Chen, Chair of the Superdiversity Institute says Superdiversity is deepening in New Zealand. By 2038, Statistics New Zealand has projected that Asian peoples will comprise 35 per cent of Auckland’s population.

The report, supported by the Law Foundation, is a global first in applying a Superdiversity Framework to determining the issues and challenges to culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CALD) parties in getting equal access to justice in courts.

It examines the key issues and challenges faced by the justice system in ensuring equal access to justice for CALD litigants in New Zealand courts and makes 36 recommendations. It includes perspectives from judges, lawyers and interpreters, drawn from interviews with senior court judges, practitioners and prosecutors with experience of CALD parties and interpreters. It also includes a review of relevant data and literature and a substantial case review with analysis of over 100 cases involving parties of Asian ethnicity since the year 2000.

With the increasing number of New Zealanders not born here and coming from very different rule of law cultures, there is a need to adapt New Zealand’s legal system to ensure those people can get equal access to justice. The Report is therefore relevant to all New Zealanders of a different culture, ethnicity, religion and language background, to those who advise them, or who work in the Courts, or train or regulate lawyers, to law firms and to mediators of legal disputes.

Report: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Parties in the Courts: A Chinese Case Study – PDF, 212 pages

Radio NZ interview with report author Mai Chen, 21 mins, 17 Nov 2019

Media release about the report from the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, 18 Nov 2019

Law Points article on Superdiversity Institute’s report, 22 Nov 2019

The Law Foundation has provided funding of $60,000 towards research for this report.