Standing room only for inaugural John Haigh QC Memorial Moot

08 August 2014
John Haigh moot final 1
Sue Haigh with the winners Tiaan Nelson and Matt Budler

The final of the inaugural John Haigh QC Memorial Moot attracted a capacity crowd to High Court room 1 in July.

Former Governor General and Distinguished Fellow of the Auckland Law School, the Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand, opened the proceedings and paid tribute to John Haigh QC, the leading barrister in whose memory the competition was named.

The moot problem, written by Senior Lecturer (Law) Kris Gledhill, focussed on the issue of direct corporate and employee liability for manslaughter. The issue of direct liability for corporations is unclear under the Crimes Act 1960 which, although it appears to require a human perpetrator, was adopted before the concept of corporate liability was fully accepted by the law.

The policy issue addressed by the students was: When should corporations or their employees be liable for gross negligence causing death? An expert opinion was given by Isaac Hikaka of Lee Salmon Long.

The two teams, comprising Mitchell Baker and Michael Greenop (appellants) and Tiaan Nelson and Matt Buddler (respondents), dealt with intense questioning from the panel of three judges, Justices  Harrison, Moore, and Toogood.

Sue Haigh presented a shield to the winners, Tiaan Nelson and Matt Budler. She said the Haigh family was grateful and proud that the Law School had chosen to honour a dearly loved husband and father.

A fund to endow the John Haigh Moot has been established by the class of 1970, of which John was a member, with the intention of making it an annual event and a lasting tribute to an esteemed colleague.

The competition also provides a valuable opportunity for third-year and above law students to develop and enhance their advocacy skills.

Anyone wanting to honour John’s life and professional contribution by making a donation to the Memorial Fund can contact Catherine Davies 022 396 4661022 396 4661 or Catherine.davies@auckland.ac.nz or can contribute directly at this link