This is a single section from Chapter 9. Read the full chapter here.

Are special procedural rules required for criminal proceedings?

New criminal offences should be subject to the rules on territorial application in sections 6 and 7 of the Crimes Act 1961.


Sections 6 and 7 of the Crimes Act 1961 limit the application of the Crimes Act and any other criminal offences (unless otherwise stated) to conduct that occurs within New Zealand. The criminal law will still apply where only one part of the conduct amounting to an offence occurs in New Zealand.

These rules should only be departed from in exceptional circumstances. There must be a clear case for New Zealand law to apply, and it must be reasonable to expect the people to whom the legislation will apply to comply with New Zealand law (because of their links with New Zealand) or any international standards reflected in New Zealand law. In such cases, justification should be recorded in the policy documentation.

In addition, the following issues will have an effect on attempts to address cross-border criminal activity.


  • Generally, New Zealand law does not provide for a criminal trial or hearing to be held in respect of a defendant who is outside New Zealand (s25(e) NZBORA).
  • New Zealand courts do not conduct criminal proceedings in respect of breaches of the criminal laws of another country. The alleged offence must be a criminal offence in New Zealand. However, it is possible for evidence in criminal and civil proceedings overseas to be taken in New Zealand under special legislation—see, for example, the provisions of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992.

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