Francisc Catalin Deliu v The New Zealand Law Society

JurisdictionNew Zealand
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeElias CJ,Glazebrook,Arnold JJ
Judgment Date02 June 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] NZSC 75
Date02 June 2015
Docket NumberSC 19/2015

[2015] NZSC 75

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND

Court:

Elias CJ, Glazebrook and Arnold JJ

SC 19/2015

Between
Francisc Catalin Deliu
Applicant
and
The New Zealand Law Society
Respondent
Counsel:

Applicant in person

P J Morgan QC for Respondent

Application for leave to appeal — applicant faced disciplinary charges before the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal, brought under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (LCA) — he issued judicial review proceedings challenging the decisions of the Standards Committees to lay the charges — the judicial review proceedings hearing was adjourned part heard because in a similar case the Supreme Court had ruled that issues about decisions to lay charges could be raised before the Disciplinary Tribunal and thereafter, if necessary, on an appeal to the HC — in such a case, any extant judicial review proceedings would likely be consolidated with the appeal — whether the judicial review hearing should be allowed to proceed irrespective of the disciplinary proceedings — whether the decision to adjourn was an interlocutory decision.

Held: It was not necessary in the interests of justice that to hear and determine the proposed appeal. The decision to adjourn the judicial review proceedings was in the nature of an interlocutory decision. Moreover, it raised no issue of general or public importance. In addition, since D would have the opportunity to vent his complaints once the disciplinary proceedings were resolved, there was no risk of a substantial miscarriage of justice.

Finally, D submitted that the decisions of the SC on costs following an unsuccessful leave application appear to be “random” and without “rhyme or reason”. D was in error. The fundamental principle was that costs followed the event ( Manukau Golf Club Inc v Shoye Venture Ltd). Where that fundamental principle was applied and the costs awarded were within the usual range, no reasons were required. If the Court departed from the fundamental principle, as it was entitled to do, a brief explanation should be given. In this case, there was no reason for to depart from the principle that costs follow the event.

Application for leave to appeal dismissed. Applicant to pay costs of $2,500.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

A The application for leave to appeal is dismissed.

B The applicant must pay the respondent costs of $2,500.

REASONS

1

The applicant, Mr Deliu, is facing disciplinary charges before the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal, brought under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. He issued judicial review proceedings challenging the decisions of the National and Auckland Standards Committees to lay the charges at issue.

2

The hearing of the judicial review proceedings commenced on 9 September 2013 and was adjourned part heard on 13 September 2013. However, the High Court was unable to allocate a further hearing date, and ultimately, on 13 February 2014, the trial Judge, Katz J, directed that the hearing of the proceedings be adjourned until the disciplinary charges are determined. She did so primarily for two reasons – the fact that Mr Deliu had said that he was unavailable for a resumed hearing until March 2014 at the earliest and the observations of this Court in a similar situation involving another practitioner, Mr Orlov. 1 There, this Court noted that issues about the decisions of Standards Committees to lay charges could be raised before the Disciplinary Tribunal and thereafter, if necessary, on an appeal to the High Court against a decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal. In such a case, any extant judicial...

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