Page 106

TA I L E N D

that they should not have been entered when the appellant was found guilty of an infringement offence. He then decided there were arguable grounds for resisting the proposition that the Segway PT was a motor vehicle and remitted the matter to the District Court for rehearing. The final chapter took place in the Kaikohe District Court in June 2013, with Judge Simon Maude delivering his decision on 12 March 2014 (Police v Summers [2014] DCR 268). After experts had given evidence on both sides (and the defendant had cited various Wikipedia articles), Mr Summers was found not guilty. In deciding whether the Segway PT was a mobility device, Judge Maude said he was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that it was. It was designed and constructed (ie, not merely adapted) for use by persons requiring mobility assistance due to a physical or neurological impairment, and it was solely powered by a motor with a maximum power output not exceeding 1500 watts. However, “it is not possible, or necessary, for me to determine whether all Segways comply with the … device exemption”. Mr Summers was free to continue Segwaying along the nothern footpaths.

The car on the Tauranga footpath Summer 1997 and a Mr Awa was peacefully walking down the footpath on the hill on Tauranga’s Third Avenue “minding his own business” as the District Court Judge later found. A Mr Claessens (first names are lacking) drove down Third Avenue and spotted Mr Awa as he passed him. Messrs Awa and Claessens had both been members of the Filthy Few gang, but Mr Awa had left and it was alleged he owed them money. Mr Claessens turned his car around at the bottom of the hill and deliberately drove back up the hill towards Mr Awa, with his left hand wheels on the footpath and the right hand ones remaining on the carriageway. Mr Awa was forced to jump out of the way. Mr Claessens stopped and “there was an altercation between the pair”. Mr Claessens was charged with reckless driving. He was convicted of such in the District Court and lost his appeal to the High Court. The question of recklessness loomed large. “It

J une 2 0 1 9 · L AW TA L K 9 2 9

is clear that the appellant must have had the foresight that the consequences of the course of driving which he followed may well have been dangerous to legitimate users of the footpath and it is also clear … that he intended to continue driving along the footpath up the hill regardless of the risk to the pedestrian who was on the footpath walking down. Mr Claessens was reckless about the safety of that pedestrian and imperilled his safety to the extent that the pedestrian, reasonably enough, felt it necessary to take evasive action,” Williams J decided.

God never intended to obstruct footpaths The occupation of footpaths and public spaces by individuals or groups to set up places of worship is a major problem in India. In September 2011, tiring of continued lawsuits around illegal occupation, the Supreme Court directed the chief secretaries of states and territories to ensure that no further land was encroached in their districts and to remove any new religious structures. Monthly reporting by district magistrates was ordered. Nothing changed. No reports were ever filed by any of India’s 29 states and seven territories. The Supreme Court is getting angry. An order on 8 March 2019 directed compliance – with absolutely no response. Now Justices Gopa la Gowda and Arun Mishra have warned of “serious consequences of non-compliance”. “None of the states are doing anything to comply

Notable Quotes ❝ It was fun but also very stressful because I’m a perfectionist. I thought, maybe this isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life.❞ — Former Public Defence Service lawyer Alex Mills, 28, who has just graduated from Police College with the Police Minister’s award for being top student in her wing.

❝ We are aware of toxic masculinity and we are aware of rape myths and we are trying to work with the courts and with the law to make the complainant’s stay in court easier.❞ — Auckland barrister Annabel Cresswell tells TVNZ’s Breakfast show that defence lawyers want to make the court process easier for sexual assault complainants.

❝ And it just – it irritated me. This is somebody whose entire public persona is something that I fundamentally oppose.❞ — Toronto lawyer Jack Siegel who discovered that white supremacist municipal election candidate Faith Goldy had copied extensively from past electoral submissions he had written to present her own submission opposing an audit of her mayoral campaign.

❝ I don’t blame my upbringing, I don’t blame my neighbourhood, I don’t blame my father’s drug addiction. The most important thing is that I’ve broken the cycle.❞ — Former Mafia lawyer Thomas Lee after being sentenced to time served – three days – in New York for admitting to abusing his power as a lawyer to pass messages between Mafia members.

106

Profile for NZ Law Society

LawTalk 929