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of judgments on obscure points of company and liquidation law. My last case – Shell (Petroleum Mining) Co Ltd v Kapuni Gas Contracts Ltd (1997) 7 TCLR 463 was very interesting. It involved competition law and splitting the gas field between two parties instead of one,” he says. Sir Ian also enjoyed administration work and he was an executive judge for about six years.
to determine whether the Cook Islands went through the necessary regulations before it entered into these treaties,” he says. Another case that went to the Privy Council involved the Cook Islands superannuation scheme, and he says there were numerous land cases that went before the Privy Council too. Recently, a final sitting was held at the Cook Islands High Court to farewell Sir Ian. He also spent four separate periods at Wolfson College at Cambridge University as a visiting fellow. “You had to have a project so I took on a Cook Islands law reform project each time. The last one was the Crimes Act.” He also worked on drafting the Family Protection and Support Act. Fiji was also a place he enjoyed visiting and working at the Court of Appeal. “The population was much bigger [than the Cooks] so there was much more variety in the work than you would get in a smaller jurisdiction. I was one of an international team of five Court of Appeal Judges who had to decide on whether the George Speight coup [of 2000] had changed the Government of Fiji and abrogated the constitution. We held that it hadn’t changed the constitution. The late Sir Maurice Casey and I were the Kiwis, there was also a judge from Papua New Guinea, Sir Mari Kapi, who has since died, an Australian judge and the Chief Justice of Tonga who was an Englishman,” he says.
The third career
Paul Sills Barrister & Mediator
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While Sir Ian was no longer on the bench in New Zealand, he did sit on the Cook Islands Court of Appeal as a Judge until recently.
Bankside In the early 2000s, Sir Ian, who was knighted for services to law in 1994, set himself up at Bankside Chambers in Auckland. He was a foundation member of Bankside Chambers which started in the old Grand Hotel Building in Princes Street in about 2001. They moved to Lumley Building in 2007. But retirement doesn’t mean he completely cuts his
Specialising in the early and effective resolution of disputes for the benefit of all parties involved.
So, after 21 years behind the bench, Sir Ian still had an appetite for law work but didn’t anticipate it would lead to another two decades of work. While Sir Ian was no longer on the bench in New Zealand, he did sit on the Cook Islands Court of Appeal as a Judge until recently. He also sat on other appeal courts including those in Fiji, the Pitcairn Islands (held in Auckland), Samoa, Vanuatu and Kiribati. “That was really interesting work. The Cook Islands – while it has a lot of ordinary and mainly criminal appellate cases – does have other interesting cases such as fishing rights where the Cook Islands entered into treaties with the European Union about fishing inside their exclusive economic zone. Because the Cook Islands has so many small islands, its exclusive economic zone is quite a huge area. That case is actually going to go before the Privy Council