Chapter 3
The existing court process for sexual violence cases

The District Courts or the High Court

3.15Charges for all criminal proceedings are filed in the relevant District Court, with the subsequent ability to transfer the case to the High Court if necessary.

3.16Category 3 offences are generally tried at District Court level, unless a judge orders that they be transferred to the High Court. As such, most charges of sexual violence are filed and heard in the District Courts. However, charges of sexual violence can be transferred to the High Court if:

3.17In 2014/15, the District Courts heard 429 trials involving sexual violence, while the High Court heard 22 trials involving sexual violence.146
141Criminal Procedure Act 2011, s 70.
142Criminal Procedure Act 2011, s 139(1)(b).
143“Court of Trial Protocol Established by the Chief High Court Judge and the Chief District Court Judge for Category 2 and 3 Offences” (30 January 2015) 9 New Zealand Gazette.
144At 3.
145Criminal Procedure Act 2011, s 68.
146Figures provided by the Ministry of Justice (4 November 2015).