1 January 2009

The (de facto) Head of State's New Year message

The Governor-General has begun a tradition of issuing a New Year message. What a splendid idea. It won't be hard for it to more relevant to Kiwis than the message from our nominal Head of State...
Governor-General issues New Year message for 2009 01-Jan-2009 The Governor-General, Hon Anand Satyanand, is urging New Zealanders to add the support of voluntary organisations to their list of New Year’s resolutions. In his first New Year message, the Governor-General emphasised the importance of volunteering to New Zealand’s society and economy. “Voluntary work does not have to be a lifelong commitment to an organisation, but we all have skills that can assist voluntary organisations, even if only for individual projects. Voluntary work not only has its own intrinsic benefits—making friends and even offers of employment—but it also adds strength to our wider communities.” The message also emphasised the importance of New Zealanders remaining engaged in New Zealand’s democracy. “Late last year, New Zealanders engaged in the ultimate form of civic involvement—voting in a General Election. The election was a demonstration of the strength of our democracy and the civil liberties we all hold dear. While New Zealand is a young country, ours is an old democracy. Democratic rights should never be taken for granted and are rights that continue to be denied to many people throughout the world.” The Governor-General said he had decided to issue an annual New Year’s message to bring to attention a number of issues New Zealanders might consider as they looked to the future.


Anonymous said...

The full message can be viewed here: http://www.gg.govt.nz/features/

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Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"

This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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