Answers to the quiz, or: fact-check this, you nerds

The quiz for the recently-returned-to-work is here.

Here are what I think are the answers.  Most of the questions I pulled from useless trivia knowledge taking up valuable space in my head, but I am prepared to be proved wrong.  I am bracing myself to be Edgelered/Geddised unstintingly: feel free to either comment or to tweet me @strictlyobiter

Which famous New Zealand case:


Which (current or former) Chief Justice of New Zealand:

  • Died at sea? Sir Charles Skerrett
  • Was Premier of New Zealand? Sir Robert Stout
  • Shared a name with a famous Saturday Night Live alum? Sir Michael Myers
  • Was the last Chief Justice to serve in World War 2? Sir Ronald Davison
  • Had a Masters from Stanford? Dame Sian Elias


Explain under what circumstances a High Court Judge could give a minority decision, with the majority decision being given by people without law degrees. I think they could either under the Human Rights Act or the Commerce Act, when additional members of the Court are appointed: see s 126 of the Human Rights Act 1993 and s 77 of the Commerce Act 1986.

UPDATE: Andrew Geddis has pointed out why I am almost certainly incorrect on this.  You can read the tweet discussion starting with this tweet.


How many current High Court judges (including those in the appellate courts):

  • Were formerly Associate Judges? Four: Venning, Lang, Gendall and Osborne JJ
  • Were formerly District Court Judges? Two: Thomas and Powell JJ
  • Were formerly Law Commissioners? Two: Elias CJ and Brewer J


Are there more High Court judges (including those in the appellate courts) currently on the bench who used to hold warrants as Crown solicitors, or who were formerly partners at Russell McVeagh? More Russell McVeagh partners (Kos P and Peters, Whata, Katz, Fitzgerald JJ) than former Crown solicitors (Lang, Brewer, Moore, and Gordon (acting warrant) JJ).


Solve these cryptic crossword clues:

  • Milne’s Robin can’t be beat? He’s on the bench. (11,7) Christopher Toogood
  • A colloquial winner hesitates then gives brief thank you for the impermissible litigation funding. (9) Champerty
  • Court is seen when reverse father joins the sound of bells. (6) Appeal
  • Two Dams Hewn for justice. (6,5) Mathew Downs
  • Junior royals take in subcontinent’s cricket league and reveal Lands’ outcome. (9) Principles
  • Holding proportion. (5) Ratio


Put these statutes in order from smallest number of sections to largest number of sections (counting only solely-numbered sections ie. s 30 counts, s 30A does not count).

  • Evidence Act 2006 Second – 216 sections
  • Crimes Act 1961 Third – 415 sections
  • Interpretation Act 1999 First – 38 sections


Name as many New Zealand Queen’s Counsel who have taken silk from 2013 onwards as you can.  Write as many as you can/want but be sure they’re correct.  When you want to stop, do so.  Then check your answers.  If all right, you get the same points as your number of answers.  If you get just one wrong, then you get no points.

Check your answers against this list.


What was the last year to have only one volume of the New Zealand Law Reports?



For years the leading textbook on the law of contract in New Zealand was Burrows, Finn and Todd, but now (some of) the authors have changed.  What are the surnames of the three authors of the latest version?

Finn, Todd and (Matthew) Barber


What is the name of the High Court (or former Supreme Court) judge in New Zealand who held their position for the shortest period of time?

James Crosby Martin was a Supreme Court Judge for one day (officially) from 1 January 1901 to 2 January 1901. You have to discount his time as an acting judge in 1900, and then accept his retroactive resignation, deemed to be accepted on 2 January 1901.  And the terms of the question discount his earlier tenure as a judge of the Arbitration Court.


Name a New Zealand judgment with a measurement of length in the title (bonus point if you get one that I haven’t thought of).

All I got was Eight Mile Style v New Zealand National Party, and Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd.


What bench in New Zealand wears blue robes?

The coronial bench.


Austin Nichols & Co Ltd v Stichting Lodestar is a frequently cited case in New Zealand for the principles of a general appeal.  What is a stichting?

Wikipedia will explain this to you.


Which two Crown Solicitor’s offices do not have a website for their law firm? (Name the regions.)

Dunedin and Nelson.


What word or words link?

  • A current High Court judge and a seminal case on “regall authority”. Fitzgerald
  • A present-day dean of a New Zealand law school and a former Prime Minister. Palmer
  • The leading case on sentencing discounts for guilty pleas and a famous mountain. Everest (Mr Hessell’s middle name was Everest.)
  • A 2016 film set in the DC Universe and a group of Legislative Council members appointed in 1950. Suicide Squad
  • The first President of the permanent Court of Appeal and the office of the Crown Solicitor at Timaru. Gresson (Sir Kenneth Gresson, and the law firm Gresson Dorman)

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