Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Chief Justice Pays Tribute To The Late Sir Ivor Richardson

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE –
MEDIA STATEMENT - CHIEF JUSTICE PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE SIR IVOR RICHARDSON
31 DECEMBER, 2014

Sir Ivor Richardson, who died on 29 December, aged 84 years, was a great New Zealander. He had an unparalleled influence on New Zealand law during his long tenure as a judge, law teacher, and adviser.

Sir Ivor was appointed a Judge in 1977 and retired in 2002. He was 25 years in the Court of Appeal, serving as its President for the last six years before his retirement at the age of 72. During Sir Ivor’s service on the Court of Appeal it consolidated its reputation as one of the leading courts in the Common Law world. The undoubted quality of the Court of Appeal established the conditions under which appeals to the Privy Council were replaced by a New Zealand final court in 2003.

Sir Ivor was born and grew up on a farm near Ashburton. He rode his pony to primary school but was not romantic about his early farming years in Depression austerity. Such experiences however meant that as a judge he was not a remote figure and was always conscious that law cannot stray from the needs of real people.

Sir Ivor was an outstanding student of law, first at Canterbury University, where he graduated with an LLB in 1953, and then at the University of Michigan, where he gained a doctorate. On his return to New Zealand with Jane, his American-born wife, Ivor Richardson practised law from 1957 to 1963 with Macalister Brothers in Invercargill, before being recruited to join the Crown Law office in Wellington. After four years with Crown Law, he became Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington in 1967. In 1973 Sir Ivor joined Watts and Patterson, where he practised until appointed to the bench in 1977.

In his work as a law professor, Sir Ivor influenced a generation of young lawyers, and did much to establish tax law as a field of university study in New Zealand. His time as professor of law at Victoria established a lifelong association with the University, which was maintained for the rest of his life, culminating in his service as Chancellor. At the time of his death Sir Ivor was still working out of the Law School, keeping in close contact with the currents of law and able to continue his keen interest in nurturing young legal talent.

Sir Ivor served only a few months on the High Court before being appointed to the Court of Appeal. His work as an appellate judge for nearly three decades touched all areas of law and provided leading cases which remain authoritative today. In addition, his collegial approach to judging and his interest in better judicial administration meant that he has had a unique influence upon the operation of the courts. All the Judges appointed to the Supreme Court on its establishment in 2003 had served with Sir Ivor as President of the Court of Appeal and were influenced by his approach to judging. But his influence has not been confined to those who served with him. Sir Ivor’s openness about judicial work, his emphasis on the importance of reasons, his often-expressed conviction that “the courts are the people’s courts”, and his spare and principled judgments have affected the way in which all judges work today. He supported better access in the courts for the news media, including television, believing that the community should be able to see how the courts work. And in his own work as a judge he shunned “flamboyant rhetoric and evangelical fervour”, to express conclusions that were plain, principled, and fit to meet the needs of New Zealand society. Sir Ivor thought it important that a judge should probe and test the economic, social and political questions thrown up by law in a wide frame of reference. For him, an important source of that frame of reference was close attention to the statutes enacted by Parliament. He believed that legislation had to be seen in its social setting and that the common law of New Zealand “should reflect the kind of society we are and meet the needs of our society”.

In his judicial career, Sir Ivor had to deal with the application and bedding in of some ground-breaking social legislation. His decisions on matrimonial property and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act set the directions for the application in the courts of these important statutes. He had however a modest view of the judicial role and was careful that it should not encroach upon matters that should properly be left to Parliament or the Executive. Outside his judicial work, he made substantial contributions to the development of policy through his chairmanship of a number of inquiries, including into tax treatment and IRD organisation and the Royal commission on Social Policy.

The judiciary is very sad indeed to lose Sir Ivor. Quite apart from his standing and the respect in which he is held as a jurist, he has been a good friend and colleague throughout his life and is held in the highest affection by us all. Our thoughts are very much with Jane, his wife, and his daughters Megan, Helen, and Sarah and their families.

CHIEF JUSTICE DAME SIAN ELIAS

Statement ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

RNZ Live Blog: Eruption At Whakaari / White Island

An eruption has occured on Whakaari / White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash into the sky.More>>

Police Update
While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption, we now believe there were fewer than 50.

Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently unaccounted for. Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>

ALSO:

Policing: Armoured Specialist Police Vehicles

New Zealand Police has taken delivery of three Armoured Special Purpose Vehicles. The vehicles are unmarked and look like standard Toyota Land cruisers... They will not be used for patrol. More>>

Single Use PVC And Polystyrene Out: Next Steps On Plastic Waste

The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. More>>

ALSO:

Faafoi Statement: Minister's Suspicious Immigration Texts

I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family. More>>

ALSO:

NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>

Earlier:

Donations:

Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels