14 August 2009

Loss of a great scholar and friend

Ka hinga te totara o te wao nui a tane.

With the passing of Mike Taggart due to illness yesterday, the NZ legal academy has lost one of its finest and most generous legal scholars.

Below is a copy of a painting (by Richard Taggart) presented to Mike to mark his retirement from Auckland Law School last year. It epitomises Mike: a truly fine common lawyer, with incredible enthuthiasm and passion for what he did.

We will all very much miss him.

See also: > 15 Lambton Quay: "The death of a friend - Professor Mike Taggart" > Hart Publishing: "A Simple Common Lawyer"

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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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