Court of Appeal Practice Note on Approach to Precedent
In Taipeti v R  NZCA 56,  3 NZLR 308 the Court of Appeal did not consider the Supreme Court decision in Wong v R  NZSC 64 prevented it from changing the test for appeals from bail decisions.
In Zhang v R  NZCA 507,  3 NZLR 648 the Court of Appeal did not consider the Supreme Court decision in Jarden v R  NZSC 69,  3 NZLR 612 prevented it from holding that personal discounts could be afforded normal weight in drug sentencing.
In Moses v R  NZCA 296 the Court of Appeal did not consider the Supreme Court decision in R v Hessell  NZSC 135,  1 NZLR 607 prevented it from altering the three-stage approach to sentencing.
In light of this, and to assist with the future conduct of litigation, this Practice Note identifies which (if any) Supreme Court decisions bind the Court of Appeal as a matter of stare decisis and court hierarchy.
The Court of Appeal is bound to follow and apply the following Supreme Court decisions:
- Taylor v Jones  NZSC 114,  2 NZLR 178
- Hamed v R  NZSC 101,  2 NZLR 305 (paragraphs - only).
- New Health New Zealand Inc v South Taranaki District Council  NZSC 59,  1 NZLR 948 (Divisional Courts only).
The above list will be kept under active consideration and updated accordingly.
Judges of the Court of Appeal
15 July 2020