Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Thursday 19 August 2021

For your lockdown distraction. Ten questions per day. Posted in the morning before work. Answers added to the end of the post around 3pm (work dependent).


1. Apart from, perhaps, LawFuel’s Power Lawyer List, the Order of New Zealand is New Zealand’s highest honour.  It is limited to only 20 living members (the ordinary members).  Over the years, some judges have been “additional members of the Order of New Zealand”: Lord Cooke of Thorndon and Sir Owen Woodhouse.  But only two judges have been full ordinary members.  One is a current member (still with us), and one is a former member (sadly no longer).  Name one.

2. What Dickens novel features the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce?

3. Which composer worked at his country’s Ministry of Justice before going on to compose the 1812 Overture?

4. Who said (or wrote), when discussing the idea of common law measures of damages under NZBORA, “the private law tail should not be permitted to wag the public law dog”?

5. What number is in the title of the current Covid order that is creating this alert level 4 lockdown? Is it 7, 8, or 9?

6. Assume no change is made to the judicial retirement age. Of all the judges who have served or are currently serving in our modern Supreme Court, who has (or will) serve the longest on the Supreme Court bench? Possibly a less clunky way to ask this question would have been to ask who was the youngest to be appointed to the Supreme Court bench, which I think gives you the same answer, but there you go.

7. Which two High Court registries have the shortest straight line distance between them?

8. What links Justice Grant Powell, Justice Christine Gordon, and Justice Stephen Kós?

9. Which New Zealand Attorney-General appointed themselves to the High (at-the-time-Supreme) Court bench?

10. What was the name of the prerogative writ sought in Parsons v Burk – a 1971 attempt to prevent the All Blacks travelling to South Africa?

Answers now below.





Answers: 1: Sir Kenneth Keith and Sir Thaddeus McCarthy, though neither are on the LawFuel Power List. 2: Bleak House (aka my place during Alert Level 4). 3: Tchaikovsky. 4: It sounds like it could be Kós P, but it was the judicial generation just before. A great Hammond J crack from Attorney-General v Udompun [2005] 3 NZLR 204, (2005) 7 HRNZ 811 (CA) at [206]. 5: It’s order number 9. 6: According to the dates on Wikipedia it’s Elias CJ. 7: Nelson and Blenheim. 8: They all use their middle names as their first names: Laurence Grant Powell, Judith Christine Gordon, John Stephen Kós. 9: Alexander Herdman, you can read about him here: 10: Ne exeat regno. Please enjoy this excerpt from Peter McKenzie “New Zealand’s First Chief Justice: The Rule of Law and the Treaty” (2012) 43 VUWLR 207 at 208 paying careful attention to footnote 5. Stay safe all.


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