The New Zealand senior court hierarchy if seniority was determined by surname Scrabble score

Yet another important contribution to New Zealand legal scholarship.

While the title is self-explanatory, please consider the following important judgement calls made in the compilation of this list.

It’s surname only.  Their Honours Ellen France and Simon France, William Young and Paul Davison JJ don’t get bonus points from their first names.  Nice try!

There are presently six Supreme Court judges, but sixth place is split three ways, so I am running a slim-line five member Supreme Court, and letting sixth place share the Presidency of the Court of Appeal.

Where there is a tie, they are ranked by present seniority.

The result is a Supreme Court that maintains its gender balance (and would still do so if the sixth place candidates were included), and the Court of Appeal has significantly more female judges.  So, if you are an Attorney-General interested in my engaging me to consult on judicial appointments, please DM me on Twitter.

 

Supreme Court

The Right Honourable Dame Susan Glazebrook, Chief Justice (26)

The Honourable Justice Fitzgerald (24)

The Honourable Justice Churchman (21)

The Honourable Justice van Bohemen (20)

The Honourable Justice Winkelmann (19)

 

Court of Appeal

The Honourable Justice Clifford (17)

The Honourable Justice Katz (17)

The Honourable Justice Dunningham (17)

The Honourable Justice Duffy (15)

The Honourable Justice Woolford (15)

The Honourable Justice French (14)

The Honourable Justice Jagose (14)

The Honourable Justice Williams (13)

The Honourable Justice Courtney (13)

The Honourable Justice Walker (13)

 

High Court

The Honourable Justice Edwards (12)

The Honourable Justice Ellen France (11)

The Honourable Justice Goddard (11)

The Honourable Justice Venning (11)

The Honourable Justice Simon France (11)

The Honourable Justice Wylie (11)

The Honourable Justice Brewer (11)

The Honourable Justice Whata (11)

The Honourable Justice Thomas (11)

The Honourable Justice Clark (11)

The Honourable Justice Davison (11)

The Honourable Justice Powell (11)

The Honourable Justice Cooke (11)

The Honourable Justice Gwyn (11)

The Honourable Justice Brown (10)

The Honourable Justice Cooper (10)

The Honourable Justice Gilbert (10)

The Honourable Justice Palmer (10)

The Honourable Justice William Young (9)

The Honourable Justice Collins (9)

The Honourable Justice Dobson (9)

The Honourable Justice Gendall (9)

The Honourable Justice Mander (9)

The Honourable Justice Hinton (9)

The Honourable Justice Downs (9)

The Honourable Justice Osborne (9)

The Honourable Justice Miller (8)

The Honourable Justice Mallon (8)

The Honourable Justice Peters (8)

The Honourable Justice Gordon (8)

The Honourable Justice Grice (8)

The Honourable Justice Doogue (8)

The Honourable Justice O’Regan (7)

The Honourable Justice Kós (7)

The Honourable Justice Moore (7)

The Honourable Justice Muir (6)

The Honourable Justice Nation (6)

The Honourable Justice Cull (6)

The Honourable Justice Gault (6)

The Honourable Justice Lang (5)

The Honourable Justice Ellis (5)

 

A template memorandum for a procedural hearing

Select from the options below.  Delete inappropriate options.  Apply your own standard formatting.

 

Introduction

May it please the:

  1. Authority.
  2. Tribunal.
  3. Court (if Court, specify District/High/Appeal/Supreme/Kangaroo).

 

Despite the direction to do so, we have not filed a joint memorandum because:

  1. We did not hear from the other side.
  2. We heard from the other side and, frankly, what we heard disturbed and alarmed us.

 

This memorandum is filed late because:

  1. We are ignorant that “two working days in advance” means two clear working days.
  2. We are merely conveniently overlooking the fact that “two working days in advance” means two clear working days.

 

Substantive issues

Discovery

There is presently:

  1. Not enough.
  2. Too much.

The other side has been:

  1. Miserly.
  2. Undiscerning.

We need:

  1. Lots more.
  2. Just the smoking gun emails.

 

Pleadings

The other side’s pleadings are:

  1. Prolix
  2. Scattershot
  3. Haphazard
  4. An overpacked Cook’s Tour of judicial review.

We note in particular that the second cause of action/ground of appeal seems:

  1. Doubtful on the basis of relevant authority.
  2. Not to comply with the requirements when pleading fraud.
  3. Demonstrative of only passing familiarity with the High Court Rules.

 

Other matters

Despite the other side’s seemingly unanswerable points about our claim, at this point we’re just looking to get past:

  1. Strike out.
  2. Summary judgment.
  3. Next Tuesday.

Security for costs should be set at a level that is:

  1. High.
  2. Very high.
  3. Cripplingly high.
  4. Higher than that.

 

Timetable defaults

The defaults by the other side are:

  1. Concerning.
  2. Unexplained and serious.
  3. Borderline contemptuous.
  4. All of the above.

The defaults by our side are:

  1. Understandable.
  2. Out of our control.
  3. Really the other side’s fault [specify].

 

Next steps

Our estimate of hearing date is:

  1. Implausibly less than the other side says.
  2. Significantly more than the Court wants to grant.

 

The height of the horse I will get on at the procedural hearing is:

  1. High.
  2. Very high.

 

Despite having raised no less than three highly contentious matters in this memorandum do we optimistically venture that orders might be made on the papers and appearances might be excused?

  1. Yes.
  2. Very much yes.

 

 

———————————————–

For court use only

To be Minuted:

  1. Orders accordingly.  Appearances excused.
  2. Appearances required but cryptic silence as to which side I am annoyed at.
  3. Memorandum forwarded to Law Society marked attention of Standards Committee.

 

Answers to the second back to work quiz, or, “technically, I’m not sure that counts”

You can scroll down for the answers, or you can read the post with just the questions here.

Please address all complaints about the answers to:*

Dame Helen Winkelmann
Supreme Court of New Zealand
85 Lambton Quay, Wellington
DX SX11224

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did the Court of Appeal hear an application for judicial review sitting at first instance (and why)?  (I’m sure there were many but at least two “famous” cases were.)

The two I’ve got are CREEDNZ Inc v Governor-General [1981] 1 NZLR 172 (CA):

CREEDNZ.PNG

And Re Erebus Royal Commission; Air New Zealand Ltd v Mahon (multiple citations but see below from [1981] 1 NZLR 614 (CA)):

Erebus.PNG

Please note the excellent sentence: “The cumbrousness needs no stressing.”

 

Name:

  • a Chief Justice of New Zealand that was an Attorney-General; and
  • a Chief Justice of New Zealand that was a General attorney.

Both Prendergast CJ and Stout CJ were Attorneys-General (no points for guessing Stout CJ since he seems to have performed literally every governmental and judicial role over the course of his life).  And Barrowclough CJ was a Major-General during World War 2.

 

What word connects:

  • Heydon of “on Contract” fame, and a recent Master of the Rolls?  Dyson: Dyson Heydon and Lord Dyson
  • A legal positivist and a legal publisher?  Hart: HLA Hart and Hart Publishing
  • A President of the UK Supreme Court and The History of the Pleas of the Crown?  Hale: Lady Hale PSC and Sir Matthew Hale
  • A William of old constitutional significance and a Joanna of recent constitutional significance?  Fruit: William of Orange and Joanna Cherry

 

How many current justices of the United States Supreme Court share surnames with current judges of the District Court of New Zealand?  Two, I think.  Judge Roberts and Judge Thomas.

 

What is a DINLI?

Disallowable instruments, not legislative instruments.  Though get in quick, they’re an endangered species.  See [4.3.4] of the NZ Law Style Guide for more information.  

 

Who or what are Ollivier, Bell and Fitzgerald?

Early NZ law reporters.  You can read the report series on NZLII here.  

 

Which senior court judge has been decorated for their efficiency?

Brewer J has an Efficiency Decoration.

 

Which senior court judge gets called the most names?

Bit of a reach this one, but William Young J’s full name is William Gillow Gibbes Austen Young, which is the most names of any senior court judge.  

 

Name as many New Zealand case names you can with colours in the title (one point per colour).  It’s not enough to say “I bet there is a High Court appeal called ‘White v Police'”; you need to know it.

Some low-hanging fruit from recent and/or leading cases might include: Red Eagle Corporation v Ellis; Blue Reach Services v Spark; Black v Taylor; Corporation; Brown v NZ Basing Ltd; Crimson Consulting Ltd v Berry, but I’m sure you can get more.  

 

Judges of the High Court of Niue are drawn from which New Zealand bench?

Māori Land Court

 

There are two taonga on display in front of the bench of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.  The first is a waka huia.  The second is a silver inkwell that belonged to which monarch?

Queen Anne

 

Who was the first New Zealand judge appointed to the Privy Council?

Sir Joshua Strange Williams

 

How many editions of Todd on Torts have there been?

One, if you accept the premise of the trick question.  It has only been called Todd on Torts officially in the latest edition.  Before that it was The Law of Torts in New Zealand.  If you don’t accept the premise, there have been eight editions.  

 

According to Lord Denning:

  • Who offered the reproof valiant?  Not Harry Hook, it was the security officer  remonstrating with Mr Hook who gave the reproof valiant.  Mr Hook gave the countercheck quarrelsome.  
  • Where was it bluebell time?  Kent
  • On what street can you swear at a machine to no effect?  Shoe Lane
  • What was his bestseller?  His report into the Profumo Affair
  • What is like an incoming tide that flows into the estuaries and up the rivers, and cannot be held back?  The Treaty of Rome

 

In how many third-strike sentencing cases have New Zealand courts made an order that the sentence be served without parole?

Two, I think: R v Waitokia [2018] NZHC 2146 and R v Winitana [2019] NZHC 3229, but related see R v Williams [2019] NZHC 2382 where the order would have been made but the sentence was preventive detention and the MPI was the 14 year maximum.  

 

Which judge decided Fitzgerald v Muldoon on 19 May 1976?

Not Wild CJ, because this isn’t *that* Fitzgerald v Muldoon decision.  This one was decided by Beattie J.

 

Which judge is this?

Quiz1

Ellen France J

 

 

Why must the Crown Law Office deal with cases relating to shirts and trousers?

It’s a CLO-thing

 

 

 

*Please don’t really send anything to the CJ.  I’ll get in trouble…

The second Strictly Obiter quiz for the recently-returned-to-work

Harrumph – I am back at work on 6 January.  You can see last year’s (better) quiz here, and its answers here.  The new (worse) quiz is below.  The answers will appear in a separate post in a week or so, after which several of you ingrates will point out things I have got wrong.

 

When did the Court of Appeal hear an application for judicial review sitting at first instance (and why)?  (I’m sure there were many but at least two “famous” cases were.)

 

Name:

  • a Chief Justice of New Zealand that was an Attorney-General; and
  • a Chief Justice of New Zealand that was a General attorney.

 

What word connects:

  • Heydon of “on Contract” fame, and a recent Master of the Rolls?
  • A legal positivist and a legal publisher?
  • A President of the UK Supreme Court and The History of the Pleas of the Crown?
  • A William of old constitutional significance and a Joanna of recent constitutional significance?

 

How many current justices of the United States Supreme Court share surnames with current judges of the District Court of New Zealand?

 

What is a DINLI?

 

Who or what are Ollivier, Bell and Fitzgerald?

 

Which senior court judge has been decorated for their efficiency?

 

Which senior court judge gets called the most names?

 

Name as many New Zealand case names you can with colours in the title (one point per colour).  It’s not enough to say “I bet there is a High Court appeal called ‘White v Police'”; you need to know it.

 

Judges of the High Court of Niue are drawn from which New Zealand bench?

 

There are two taonga on display in front of the bench of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.  The first is a waka huia.  The second is a silver inkwell that belonged to which monarch?

 

Who was the first New Zealand judge appointed to the Privy Council?

 

How many editions of Todd on Torts have there been?

 

According to Lord Denning:

  • Who offered the reproof valiant?
  • Where was it bluebell time?
  • On what street can you swear at a machine to no effect?
  • What was his bestseller?
  • What is like an incoming tide that flows into the estuaries and up the rivers, and cannot be held back?

 

In how many third-strike sentencing cases have New Zealand courts made an order that the sentence be served without parole?

 

Which judge decided Fitzgerald v Muldoon on 19 May 1976?

 

Which judge is this?

Quiz1

 

 

Why must the Crown Law Office deal with cases relating to shirts and trousers?

 

The only New Zealand lawyer Power List you will ever need

LawFuel has updated its Power List for 2020 and I’ve read it with the normal bemusement.

LawFuel’s articles have always fascinated me.  They talk about the New Zealand profession in an American accent.  I non-ironically love the language they use, the press releases they repackage and the headlines they import from the States.  It’s such a distinctive voice.  Siren-like, with all the implications of that term.  Essentially non-essential in ways I can only dream of imitating.

And the Power List is all that and more.  I like the authority with which it speaks:

The List is once again compiled following feedback from senior members of the New Zealand legal profession and our own research into the roles and power rises and falls of a profession facing some unique challenges both from within and from outside.

Strongly rejected is the idea that, hey, this is a list of pretty clever people doing things in the law that we think are interesting and that you might find interesting too and we’ve put it in a list because that’s always a bit of fun.  No, this list is Arduously Researched.  It is Scrupulously Ranked.  One of these people has, this year, Broken Into The Top Ten.  Most lists like this are subjective, so calling it subjective is an observation, not a criticism.  But the subjectiveness sparkles especially brightly when the metric veers all over the shop in order to justify the inclusion of certain people: when straight “power” won’t do, people are lauded for their “quiet power”.

EDIT: As one astute commenter noted, the 2020 list features at number 44 Andrew Stockley as the Dean of the Auckland Law School.  Except the Dean of the Auckland Law School has been Professor Penelope Mathew for the last nine months (since March 2019).  Arduously Researched.

But isn’t it a pain to read up on the Power List every year?  Especially because there seem to be the same types every year.  Fortunately, I have read several iterations now and have distilled its essence.  So if you don’t feel like reading the Power List, read on for the only New Zealand lawyer Power List you will ever need (presented unranked):

 

The doddery old QC

Led every famous case in the 90s and soon to lead a bunch more in his 90s.  And yes, it’s always a him.  Quietly thinks things have gone downhill since Barrowclough gave up the Chief Justice-ship.  Once juniored for Alf Hanlon.  Last looked at the statute book shortly after the 1908 consolidations.  No longer a member of the old boys club since he aged out.

 

The President of some lawyers’ association

NZLS probably, maybe ADLS.  By rights it should be ALWU but you can’t have power if you’re under 30 years old.  An ex officio member of the Power List.  Lawyer organisations exist as sort of punching bags despite doing decent enough work.  Their main function is publishing a magazine in order to feature letters to the editor complaining about what they do.  A profession full of rich egomaniacs is almost impossible to regulate, but the task of the president is to do that lest the government step in.

 

The old legal evergreen who’s been banging around since the 70s

Perhaps they were a Cabinet Minister under Lange.  Maybe they were an Ombudsman in the early 90s.  They’re definitely a Distinguished Fellow somewhere.  Yes, they’re still here and have power if by power you mean name recognition with your dad. They continue to publish articles in law journals that seem more about politics than law.  A new project from them can still land them the second interview slot on Nine To Noon.

 

The head of legal in a large government regulator

Name recognition through fronting cock-ups.  Trying to revitalise this key industry regulator that has fallen on hard times.  What’s worse than a government bureaucracy? A government legal bureaucracy.  They say a large ship takes a long time to turn.  Unfortunately there is no large ship metaphor that ends positively: the Titanic, the Lusitania, the Poseidon.  Wasn’t Speed 2: Cruise Control set on a boat?  Constant tension headaches have given them the power to levitate Panadol tablets with their mind and if that’s not true power we don’t know what is.

 

The tireless self-promoter

Open any issue of LawTalk from the last five years and there will be a piece they got a junior to ghost write.  Has cornered a niche area and writes on it constantly like a cringe budget Kiwi knock-off of Richard Susskind.  Adored outside the legal industry and deplored within.  Has sent three emails to CPD providers already this year suggesting seminars they could front.  Has another book out this year. Power through indefatigability.

 

The ex-High Court Judge who does arbitrations now

Retired from the High Court and treating Ted Thomas as a cautionary tale.  Spending their gold-plated pension on inner-city chambers.  Now able to talk with people they meet on Shortland Street.  They put up with 15 years of the Court of Appeal tipping them over on the facts, and will now face 15 more of the High Court tipping them over on the law.  No longer able to formally hold people in contempt, but freer now to do so informally.

 

The civil servant you have never heard of

Oh, them?  I thought it was old so-and-so who did that?  Where’s he gone to then?  Oh really?  So who’s this then?  Oh well good on them I suppose.

 

The large law firm managing partner

Promoted as a result of their firm casting around to find one of the few partners who wasn’t part of the bad old days.  Has overseen a hasty reform program of working-late dinner allowances and salary top-ups for junior staff, funded by removing the free booze and the strip clubs on expenses.  About to front an apology tour of the Law Deans to get back on the Christmas card list.  Worked out quite quickly that the best answer to corporate clients asking about the firm’s commitment to eliminating mistreatment of junior staff is to say “we do the same things as you”, and then let fear of hypocrisy deter follow-up questions.

 

The one from Christchurch

Everyone else is from Auckland and Wellington so we cast around and found one person we could plausibly put on the list who was from Christchurch. This counts as diversity.