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Victoria creates Lord Cooke of Thorndon lecture

Victoria University's Law School is establishing an annual lecture in honour of distinguished alumnus, the Rt Hon Lord Cooke of Thorndon.

"The Lord Cooke of Thorndon Annual Lecture" will be given by a distinguished lawyer, judge or academic at the Victoria Law School in Government Buildings.

Lord Cooke retired from his judicial role of hearing cases in the UK House of Lords and the Privy Council this week, on turning 75 years of age.

Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Law at Victoria, Professor Matthew Palmer, says Lord Cooke is an exceptional graduate, and is regarded by many as New Zealand's greatest jurist.

"He is a pivotal figure in New Zealand's legal history, and establishing an annual lecture in his name is one way we can recognise his unique contribution to this university and to New Zealand.

"By hosting this annual event we hope to challenge law professionals and to inspire current and future students to follow his example," Professor Palmer says.

Lord Cooke graduated from Victoria University with an LLM in 1950 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University in 1989.

After working as a barrister, he was appointed a Queen's Counsel and served as Judge of the Supreme Court in New Zealand from 1972, and Judge of the Court of Appeal here from 1976. A year later he was appointed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, and more recently was appointed to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords.

"He is widely credited with demonstrating exceptional vision in his judgements in both England and New Zealand. He is also admired for his sensitivity to the different climates of Pacific jurisdictions such as Fiji and Samoa. In addition, he is an overseas member of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal," Professor Palmer said.

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