Judiciary's 'strategist' bows out

Last updated 05:00 18/08/2012
Andrew Tipping
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ
FAMILY AFFAIR: Justice Andrew Tipping’s seven grandchildren were on hand for his final sitting at the Supreme Court yesterday. From left Caitlin, 9, Sebastian, 14, Maia, 1, bruised after a run-in with a tree, Venetia, 9 months, Honor, 3, Zak, 5, and Joshua, 3, looking from the front.

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The second of two judges who together perfected a "pincer movement" on unsuspecting lawyers has retired from the Supreme Court.

Justice Peter Blanchard, who retired in June, was one arm and Justice Andrew Tipping was the other arm of the movement, according to Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.

At a final sitting for Justice Tipping held at the court yesterday, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson recounted his own war story about appearing before him as a lawyer.

The first question from the judge had come at him "like an Exocet missile" and he never recovered, he said.

Justice Tipping turns 70 next week and is retiring after 26 years on the bench. His decisions had featured in almost every volume of precedent-setting cases since 1986, Dame Sian said.

In the Court of Appeal he was a member of the court that said the Maori Land Court had jurisdiction to decide the status of the foreshore and seabed. He also delivered the Court of Appeal's decision dismissing David Bain's appeal against his convictions for murdering his family, later overturned at the Privy Council, resulting in a retrial at which Bain was acquitted.

Justice Tipping's family were around him for his final sitting, with his wife of three months, Canadian academic Mary Jo Nicholson, his mother, three children and seven grandchildren at court.

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