"Any evidence" in the Family Court
This dissertation examines the origins and justification for the “any evidence” rule which has been a feature of New Zealand family law for many years. The rule provides judicial discretion to admit evidence in the Family Court which would be otherwise inadmissible. Its ongoing value has never been closely examined, although the rule has frequently been criticised. Selected cases have been examined to determine if reliance on the Evidence Act without the “any evidence” rule would have the deleterious outcomes contemplated. Analysis has shown that the rule has very little use and conversely, that the detriment caused by the rule is greater than the harm it was designed to remedy. Repeal and reform options are considered to better achieve the specific purposes of the various family law statutes as well as improve the integrity of the Family Court process overall.