30 March 2009

Tid-bit: Magna what?

> Gregory v Gollan [2009] NZSC 29 An interesting tid-bit embedded in a decision on a leave application issued by the Supreme Court today:
Mr Henry, for the applicant, has asserted that there is a constitutional dimension to the case. He argues that Magna Carta 1297 (Imp) gives his client a right to a jury trial. But, even if it were accepted that c29 of Magna Carta extended to jury trials in civil proceedings, the matter is now covered by New Zealand legislation which makes it clear that proceedings are to be tried by Judge alone unless the Court exercises its discretion to order trial by jury. Any operation Magna Carta may once have had in relation to civil proceedings has now been plainly displaced by s 19A [of the Judicature Act 1908]. [FN: See David Clark, The Icon of Liberty: The Status and Role of Magna Carta in Australian and New Zealand Law (2000) 24 Melb. U.L. Rev 866 at p 883-884.]

11 March 2009

New blog: 15 Lambton Quay

Folks A quick post to let you know about a new blog: http://www.15lambtonquay.blogspot.com/ A group of my colleagues - largely from the Law School, but including some further afield - will post notes on law, policy, and government. I'll be providing the occasional cross post but will continue to run with the elephants too...

8 March 2009

Yes, Sir?

> Beehive: "Titular Honours to be reinstated" > LAWS179: "New Zealand Order of Merit: Restoring Titular Titles" > LAWS179: "New Zealand Order of Merit (Titular Titles) Bill" > LAWS179: "New Zealand Order of Merit (Titular Titles) Bill: My New Year Honours List" > LAWS179: "Queen's Birthday Honours" > LAWS179: "New Zealand Order of Merit: new Knighthoods and Damehoods" Wahoo! Success. Or sort of. The government has announced the reinstatement of titular titles with a return to Knighthoods and Damehoods. But, no mention of allowing indigneous Te Reo equivalents, such as (on a working basis) Tā or Kahurangi That's a shame. My draft Bill would have allowed that. I think it works as a nice nod to our shared heritage, traditions, cultures. Honouring the past, while still grounding the practice in our local context.

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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