New Zealand Law Commission
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TE AKA MATUA O TE TURE
The Law Commission is an independent, publicly funded, central advisory body established by statute to undertake the systematic review, reform and development of the law of New Zealand. Its purpose is to help achieve law that is just, principled, and accessible, and that reflects the heritage and aspirations of the peoples of New Zealand.
The Commissioners are:
The Honourable Justice Baragwanath – President
Leslie H Atkins qc
Joanne Morris obe
Judge Margaret Lee
Denese Henare onzm
The Director of the Law Commission is Robert BuchananThe office is at 89 The Terrace, Wellington
Report/Law Commission, Wellington, 1997
issn 0113–2334 isbn 1–877187–06–2
This report may be cited as: nzlc r38
Also published as Parliamentary Paper E 31AA
15 July 1997
I am pleased to submit to you Report 38 of the Law Commission, Succession Law: Homicidal Heirs.
Earlier this year the Minister in charge of the Public Trust Office asked the Commission, as part of its project to review the law of succession, to expedite its work on the effect of homicide on rights of succession. That Minister’s interest in the subject was aroused in part by problems demonstrated by the case of Hunter’s Estate: Farrell v Public Trustee (unreported, HC, Auckland, 20 November 1996, M505/94). This report is our response.
The need for homicidal heirs legislation was identified more than 20 years ago by the former Property Law and Equity Reform Committee: The Effect of Culpable Homicide on Rights of Succession (1976, Report 24). The Commission agress with the Public Trust Office’s view that to preserve estates, often of only modest value, there should be statutory rules settling the terms of public policy and spelling out plainly a killer’s rights and disentitlements.
The Commission recommends the enactment of the draft Succession (Homicide) Act included in this report.
The Hon Justice Baragwanath
The Hon Douglas Graham MP
Minister of Justice