An extraordinary article in a recent Economist put the foreign exchange revenue yielded from British courts at an amount slightly higher than all of New Zealand’s export earnings from all sources.
In one sense this is dismaying as it reflects the mainly corruption-caused inadequacies of the vast majority of foreign nations’ judicial systems. So by consent between the litigating parties they resort to British courts, untainted by any influences and with high intellectual standards.
Additionally, some plaintiffs run successful debt cases against governments and corporations which have seizable assets off-shore.
This was the basis of our using the Privy Council as our ultimate Appellant Court up until a couple of decades back, until sadly Helen Clark wiped it; a huge mistake.
New Zealand is a small population country where in many cases, if only by repute, litigants are known to the judges, who may then allow their personal prejudices to influence their decision. Trust me, it happens repeatedly.
These fee receipts in Britain come under the category of invisible earnings, that is the sale of intangible services and are a reflection of a highly sophisticated economy.
Britain’s traditional invisible earnings stemmed from its colonial days, such as insurance premiums, bank dividends and the like, but in recent years they’ve diminished in the face of global competition. But in their wake numerous new services have arisen, notably finance, now Britain’s largest foreign exchange earner.
When New Zealand outgrows the unsophisticated Lutherian belief that selling a pound of butter is more admirable than selling a service, we will make considerable economic progress.