RIP Sir Ivor Richardson

Stuff reports:

One of New Zealand’s most respected judges, Sir , has died at the age of 84.

In a long and distinguished legal career, Sir Ivor rose to became president of the Court of Appeal. He was appointed a judge of the then Supreme Court in 1977 but was almost immediately appointed to the Court of Appeal, where he served from 1978 to 2002.

Richardson was president of the Court of Appeal from 1996 until his retirement at age 72.

Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias said he 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,” she said.

“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.” …

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson, QC, also paid tribute to Richardson on behalf of the Government. “It is hard to think of anyone who has made a more substantive contribution to the law and social policy,” Finlayson said. “His was a career marked by excellence in everything he did.”

“Sir Ivor Richardson was unfailingly courteous and pleasant to appear before. But if you weren’t on top of your material, his questions would destroy your case very quickly.”


It says much about Sir Ivor that he was appointed to the Court of Appeal the same year as he was appointed to the High Court. He was made a member of the Privy Council in 1978. A huge loss to the legal profession, but especially to his family and friends.

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