Chapter 5
Civil proceedings


5.1This chapter considers how national security information might be used and protected in general civil proceedings to which the Crown is a party, either as respondent or claimant.

5.2In this chapter, the term “general civil proceedings” refers to those proceedings that are not covered by Chapter 4 (appeals and challenges to administrative decisions). They include private law claims,170 some applications for judicial review, proceedings under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and employment proceedings.

5.3The ability to bring civil proceedings against the Crown is an essential element of the rule of law by which citizens ought to be able to obtain legal redress when the government has breached individual rights or has failed to comply with its legal obligations. Holding the Crown to account for its actions in open court is an important process, the possibility of which serves to encourage the Crown to act within the law.

170 Such as claims for breach of contract or suing in tort.