James Farmer

Legal Commentary

Race, Poverty and Education - Lessons from the UK learned while spending Christmas in London December 2019

In August 2018, the 26 year old black rap musician, Stormzy, established a scholarship under which he would pay the tuition fees and accommodation for 4 black students to attend Cambridge University.  At the time, he was accused of racism.  His response, as recorded in a rap that went high in the charts: “I done a scholarship for the kids, they said it’s racist.   That’s not anti-white, it’s pro-black”.  He later said that he was endeavouring to address the disadvantages and barriers that young blacks faced. More...

The Forthcoming Referendum on the Growing and Supply of Cannabis for Personal Recreational Use

Presently before the Parliament is the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill which would facilitate easier access to cannabis-based products for medical reasons.  Currently, such use requires Ministerial approval on a patient by patient basis.  On the horizon however is a much more radical and wide spread reform.  In exchange for Green Party supply support after the 2017 General Election, the present Government has committed to holding a referendum before or at the next Election in 2020 on whether the law should be changed to allow the growing and supply of cannabis for personal “recreational” use. More...

Armistice Day and Its Sequel

The centenary ceremony for Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, at Auckland Domain, set amidst over 18,000 white crosses representing every New Zealand service man or woman who was killed in World War I, was predictably moving.  There is a view that World War I represents the birth of the nation of New Zealand.  Probably an exaggeration but I have always thought that the two World Wars are hugely significant in New Zealand’s history and in shaping who we are.   My father drove tanks and slept in trenches in North Africa, Crete and Italy in World War II and my boyhood was shaped by his stories and photographs from “the War”.    More...

An Easy Read of the Rule of Law in the World of Fiction

It is now over 8 years since the Human Rights Review Tribunal first ruled in the Atkinson case that the then policy of the Ministry of Health that family members who provided care (usually full-time) for their seriously disabled (usually intellectually disabled) adult children were not entitled to be paid for so doing, notwithstanding that the State was prepared to pay professional care givers to do so. The Tribunal declared that the policy was discriminatory and unlawful. Appeals by the Ministry of Health to both the High Court and the Court of Appeal were dismissed, it being held that the policy constituted unlawful discrimination under the Bill of Rights Act [Ministry of Health v. Atkinson [2012] 3 NZLR 456 (CA)]. More...

Bullying, Harassment and Gender Bias

Bullying and harassment have become big topics in the judicial and legal profession of late, highlighted by accusations of sexual harassment of young women summer clerks and a survey conducted by the Criminal Bar Association which claimed that a majority of those surveyed had witnessed or complained of bullying from the Bench.    More...

Criticising Judges

Catriona MacLennan is an Auckand barrister and journalist who has distinguished herself for many years now by her perceptive articles in both legal and news media publications.  She has made a name for herself for her authoritative writings on family violence and related issues and is the spokesperson for the Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children.  She presumably knows quite a lot about the evils of domestic violence.  We need more lawyers like her willing to use the media to draw attention to deficiencies in the legal system and to expose injustice wherever it occurs. More...

America's Cup Part 3A

Last week, I expressed my concerns about the damage being done to Team New Zealand’s hard won reputation because of the coincidental request by it of the Government and/or the Auckland Council for a “hosting fee” for the holding of the next America’s Cup Event in Auckland and the revelation (by TNZ) that it had been offered over $100 million by Abu Dhabi and by Sochi in Russia (neither being noted for premium yacht racing) to shift the Event to their location.  The Mayor of Auckland was reported as saying that the request for a fee (over and above the funding of the infrastructure costs of holding the Event expected to be between $140 million and $190 million) “came out of left field” and was mentioned by Grant Dalton for the first time on 19 November. More...

America's Cup Part 3

I have twice before written a commentary on the America’s Cup.   I feel qualified to do this, having served as a director of Team New Zealand from 2004 to 2013, been a member of the Challenger Commission for the Valencia Regatta (2007), a member of the International Committee that investigated safety rules following the death of an Artemis sailor, Andrew Simpson, in San Francisco and other related activities. More...

Pro Bono Publico as an Aid to Living a Balanced Lifestyle

It is some considerable time since I have written a piece for what was referred to by senior counsel in the High Court in Wellington recently as “Jim Farmer’s blog”.  This was cited by him, in presenting the appeal by NZME and Fairfax against the Commerce Commission’s refusal to allow a merger of those companies on public benefit grounds, as being an example of the many sources (other than his clients) through which the “news” can be obtained.  If this assertion is true, then my apologies to the New Zealand public for being deprived of the news for so long. More...

Recent Posts

  1. Race, Poverty and Education - Lessons from the UK learned while spending Christmas in London December 2019 Chris Goode 13-Jan-2020
  2. Witnesses in Civil Cases - the Consequences of Not Calling and of Not Cross-Examining - A Paper Presented to the Pacific Islands Lawyers Association, Auckland, 22 November 2019 Chris Goode 22-Nov-2019
  3. The Forthcoming Referendum on the Growing and Supply of Cannabis for Personal Recreational Use Chris Goode 19-Nov-2018
  4. Armistice Day and Its Sequel Chris Goode 14-Nov-2018
  5. An Easy Read of the Rule of Law in the World of Fiction Chris Goode 08-Aug-2018
  6. Bullying, Harassment and Gender Bias Chris Goode 22-May-2018
  7. Criticising Judges Chris Goode 07-May-2018
  8. America's Cup Part 3A Chris Goode 11-Dec-2017
  9. America's Cup Part 3 Chris Goode 04-Dec-2017
  10. Pro Bono Publico as an Aid to Living a Balanced Lifestyle Chris Goode 08-Nov-2017
  11. Terence Arnold Retires From the Supreme Court Bench Chris Goode 10-Apr-2017
  12. From Violence to Redemption Chris Goode 15-Mar-2017
  13. Drugs, Sports and Society Chris Goode 18-Oct-2016
  14. Are Our Law Schools Churning Out Too Many Lawyers? Chris Goode 25-Aug-2016
  15. Equiticorp 20 Years On Chris Goode 07-Jun-2016
  16. The Year in Retrospect Chris Goode 19-Jan-2016
  17. A Good Year for the Farmer Legal Family Chris Goode 30-Oct-2015
  18. Having a Balanced Life Style - Part 4 Chris Goode 21-Sep-2015
  19. A Balanced Life Style (Part 3), Prisoners' Voting Rights, Top Gun, 7000kms in a Corvette, John Maynard Keynes and Atticus Finch Chris Goode 05-Aug-2015
  20. Biographies Chris Goode 13-Apr-2015
  21. The Cost of Justice Chris Goode 13-Mar-2015
  22. The Increase in Unrepresented Litigants and Their Effect on the Judicial Process Chris Goode 11-Feb-2015
  23. Evidence - Notes of Presentation to Continuing Legal Education Seminar November 2014 Chris Goode 01-Dec-2014
  24. Corporate Governance and Directors' Liability Chris Goode 19-Aug-2014
  25. Paper Presented on 2 August 2014 at the Competition Law & Policy Institute of New Zealand 25th Annual Conference Chris Goode 05-Aug-2014
  26. Life in the Fast Lane Chris Goode 06-Jun-2014
  27. 2014 - Roaring Past Chris Goode 04-Jun-2014
  28. Commentary on Paper Delivered by Professor Andrew I Gavil at Commerce Commission Conference Chris Goode 19-Nov-2013
  29. America's Cup Wrap Up Chris Goode 04-Oct-2013
  30. Happiness, Living a Balanced Life and Legal Practice - Part II Chris Goode 15-Aug-2013
  31. America's Cup 2013 Chris Goode 01-Jul-2013
  32. Why the Rules of Evidence Matter in Civil Cases Chris Goode 12-Mar-2013
  33. The High Court in Review Chris Goode 08-Oct-2012
  34. "Criticism of Supreme Court needs to be put in context" as published in the New Zealand Herald 11 May 2012 Chris Goode 23-May-2012
  35. Recent Reform Reports Chris Goode 03-Apr-2012
  36. Happiness, Living a Balanced Life and Legal Practice Chris Goode 09-Jan-2012
  37. In Defence of the Supreme Court Chris Goode 12-Dec-2011
  38. Cross Examination Notes Chris Goode 11-Nov-2011
  39. The passing of three leaders of the Bar Chris Goode 14-Sep-2011
  40. Commentary on my commentary on Morse Chris Goode 14-Sep-2011
  41. How good is our Supreme Court? Chris Goode 08-Aug-2011

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