Episode 22 - CA President Justice Kós talks speaking up in court, the importance of being a teacher while remaining a student, and big picture reforms he would like to see

In this episode I speak with Justice Kós, sitting President of the Court of Appeal, and at different times a litigator, an academic, and a teacher.  We talked about his reasons for becoming a lawyer (another count for "good at English"), and his reasons for staying one (law as vocation); his perspective on the bench, both from appearing in front of it and sitting behind it; reforms to the civil system that promise increased access to justice and reforms to the criminal system that promise greater justice full stop; how his upbringing as the child of a refugee helped form his view of New Zealand and the importance of its democratic norms and institutions; and what he has learned as a student of those who came before and a teacher of those who are coming up the ranks now.  

After recording this interesting, wide-ranging discussion of issues big and small in the legal profession and New Zealand society I stood up and knocked a cup of tea all over the Judge's desk, including three volumes clearly marked "Library of the Court of Appeal", which was a nice return to earth after such a lofty chat. 

Download the episode here, or go the easy way and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. 

Links for this episode:

  • Information about the NZLS Litigation Skills Course can be found here.  It runs annually in Lincoln, this year from 26 August to 1 September.  Do it if you can.  I did a mini version when I was at Minters and it was wonderful and exhilarating.  
  • The Judge writes about the role of the Court in constitutional collision here
  • A copy of his Honour's speech to the 2016 AMINZ conference regarding access to justice via simple civil reforms is here.  (It's great.  Please read; it will make you hopeful.)
  • A copy of the Court of Appeal's resolution on juniors speaking in court is here
  • The article I wrote for LawTalk on harassment and culture in the legal profession is here in PDF or here on Stuff. 

And that's it! See you next time, listeners.


Email your questions to katie@thenewlawyer.co.nz 


All content © Symphony Law Limited 2016.  Limited reproduction licences available on request.