Chapter 3 - Jurisdiction of the District Courts

Introduction

District Courts are given by statute the same broad equitable jurisdiction as the High Court in respect of trusts. However, because District Courts do not have jurisdiction to exercise the powers granted by the Trustee Act 1956, they do not provide an effective forum for resolving lower value trust disputes.

This chapter considers whether changes should be made to expand the jurisdiction of District Courts in relation to trusts. An alternative option of extending the jurisdiction of the Family Court over family trusts is also canvassed in this chapter.