High Court Procedure Note - Second appearance over the Christmas period 2020-2021

The High Court of New Zealand has provided a memorandum outlining the Procedure for Second Appearance of Category 4 Offences in the High Court over the Christmas Period 2020-2021.

This memorandum explains how the second appearance of a Category 4 offence in the High Court will occur for December 2020, January 2021 & February 2021.

When a defendant is charged with a Category 4 offence, the second appearance is to be held in the High Court within 15 working days from the defendant’s first appearance in the District Court, although rule 1.7 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2012 allows time-frames between CPA hearings to be extended.

Normally, a specified day of the week (and time) is set aside in each High Court registry to deal with any required second appearances.

These arrangements need to be varied for late December 2020 and January 2021.

With only limited exceptions, the High Court does not sit from 20 December until 31 January. Section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (CPA) (interpretation of a working day) excludes days in the period commencing on 25 December in one year and ending on 15 January in the next year from being counted as working days.


There will be no second appearance hearings for Category 4 offences after Friday 18 December 2020 and before Monday 18 January 2021 (a 4 week break).

Outside that period second appearance hearings will take place in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021 as shown below. Hearings will be scheduled for
9.00 am unless otherwise advised.

Hearings required in the circuit registries from 19 December to 31 January will have the judge appearing by AVL.

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