Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Monday 23 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. In a song made popular by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, mothers were advised that they should let their babies grow up to be “lawyers instead”.  What career were they advised against?

2. What was the longest running (in terms of hearing time) civil case in New Zealand? And what was the longest running criminal case?

3. Name a currently sitting New Zealand judge who was present at the Oxford Union when David Lange made his “I can smell the uranium” speech.

4. Name someone who served as Dean of a New Zealand Faculty of Law who then served as a Supreme/High Court Judge.

5. Who served as the New Zealand judge on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, responsible for trying war crimes allegedly committed by Japanese forces during World War 2?

6. Which of these were ancient English legal concepts, and which have I made up? Chiefage, essoin, infangthief, advowson, monition.

7. Name Asimov’s Laws of Robotics. (Yes, the Zeroth Law as well.)

8. In his autobiography, “Not Entirely Legal” Leonard Leary QC relates his defence of Thomas Hayr in a1952 prosecution for murder. In retrospect, the defence advanced the first successful instance of a particular defence in the common law world, even though said defence did not exist in law at the time. Leary was forced to argue the defence under the M’Naghten Rules, and succeeded. But what would the defence come to be known as?

9. 6.02214076×1023 gives a clue to the location of certain courts. Name one.

10. What links Jan McCartney, Simon Moore, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Jack Hodder?


Previous entries are:

Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Friday 20 August 2021

Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Thursday 19 August 2021

Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Wednesday 18 August 2021





1: Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. 2: Equiticorp for civil. Pretty sure it’s R v Bublitz for criminal. 3: Kós P was, as related in this speech: but an Arthur Tompkins figures in the story so perhaps two. 4: Callan J served as the Dean of the University of Otago Law Faculty. Hammond J served as Dean of Auckland and Waikato. Palmer J was Dean of Vic. There may be more – message me on Twitter if you thought of another. 5: Northcroft J. 6: All five are real. What a system! Most have Wikipedia pages if you’re curious. 7: Did you get them? I love Asimov’s robots stories. 8: Sane automatism – the claim to being the first comes from Leary’s entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. The M’Naghten Rules required a disease of the mind, which wasn’t really Hayr’s situation but they succeeded anyway. 9: 6.02214076×1023 is one mole’s worth. So you can take your pick of courts on Molesworth St: the Wellington High Court or the Court of Appeal. 10: They were all appointed Senior Counsel and only later reverted to Queen’s Counsel. 

What a day! Sorry for the late answers. Time to go line up at my local Countdown – one of the few in Auckland not to have been a location of interest… yet.

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