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Reforms align Australian and New Zealand legal systems

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Trans-Tasman legal disputes resulting from trade should be easier and cheaper to resolve following the passage of legislation through parliament which will bring the Australian and New Zealand legal systems closer together. Attorney General Robert McClelland declared the changes will provide businesses and individuals with greater certainty when undertaking business across the Tasman by making it easier to resolve disputes. "Under the changes, litigation between parties located in Australia and New Zealand will become more like litigation between parties in the same country." With trade in goods and services between Australia and New Zealand valued at more than $21 billion in 2010, it is inevitable some commercial legal disputes will arise, McClelland said. "The reforms will streamline and simplify procedures for the service of process, the recognition and enforcement of judgements, obtaining and giving evidence and appearing remotely." The bill amended the Trans-Tasman Proceedings legislation to reflect equivalent legislation recently passed in New Zealand.

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