Strictly Obiter Alert Level 4 Quiz – Wednesday 25 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. Have you been following constitutional developments in Samoa? The (currently suspended) Samoan Attorney-General shares a name with a seminal case about injunctions. What is the name?

2. Appointed King’s Counsel in 1947, then appointed to the Legislative Council in 1950 as part of the Suicide Squad, this barrister with the first names Oswald Chettle is (perhaps) remembered today for chairing the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents. The report of that committee became colloquially named after him. What was his surname?

3. Name a New Zealand Attorney-General that has not been a lawyer.

4. He combined arts and law, completing a BA in political science in 1893 at Canterbury College of the University of New Zealand. He shifted to Auckland, where he was articled to the solicitors Devore and Cooper, and completed his LLB in 1896. He was the first Māori person to complete a degree at a New Zealand university. Who was he?

6. Which Court has an incorrect (or, rather, incomplete) te reo Māori interpretation in its intituling?

7. What was the name of the boat in R v Dudley and Stephens?

8. What links Timothy Cleary, Ethel Benjamin, Jack Northey and Rex Mason?

9. Name as many judgments as you can that have a sitting or former Prime Minister as a party. I can get at least five modern PMs, I think.

10. The cartoon below was published in the New Zealand Observer on 6 September 1913. It depicts Edwards J peeking out of his blindfold of justice at a comely witness and was published with the caption  “Justice is not blind”. Was it a criminal contempt of court?

Justice is not blind







1: Savalenoa Mareva Betham Annandale. 2: Mazengarb – the Mazengarb Report. 3: Michael Cullen wasn’t a lawyer. Neither apparently was George Forbes. 4: He was Sir Āpirana Ngata, more recently of $50 note fame. Dammit I should have made the question name a lawyer on New Zealand money. Ah well. 5: It is at this stage that I realise I appear not to have asked a question 5… Oh dear. The wheels are coming off. Well, let’s think of one now. Who served as Attorney-General and, in that role, had the disparaging nickname Necessity (because Necessity knows no law). Answer: William Downie Stewart, according to Jack Marshall’s Memoirs volume 1. 6: The Supreme Court. The English says “In the Supreme Court of New Zealand” but the Māori wording on the intituling doesn’t have an “O Aotearoa” like the other courts have. 7: The Mignonette. 8: They all have modern-day prizes named after them. 9: So, Mainzeal has Jenny Shipley in it. Then there was those habeas challenges to alert level 4 in A v ArdernLange v Atkinson was David Lange. I think there was a Taylor v Key (or at least some Graham McCready-based litigation). And Fitzgerald v Muldoon. 10: It’s not criminal contempt. I have a half-written essay about this cartoon and the backstory, but you could read the decision of Attorney-General v Blomfield (1913) 33 NZLR 545 (SC).


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