Justice Andrew Tipping retires from Supreme Court

New Zealand’s longest serving judge, Justice Andrew Tipping, takes to the Supreme Court bench for the last time on 17 August.

The New Zealand Law Society’s fortnightly magazine LawTalk marks the occasion with a candid interview with Justice Tipping. 

Sir Andrew voices concern over the negative impact the media is having on the public’s perception of the justice system.

“My own impression is that the art of court reporting has not improved in my time on the bench. I think it is largely because journalists are under extreme pressure and we are in a soundbite era,” he says.

 “I have sympathy for the journalists, but it doesn’t actually assist the public’s understanding of what the courts are doing.

 “The way certain cases are presented, the public are inclined to think: ‘the jury went mad’,

“The country shouldn’t have to endure diminished confidence in the justice system due to bad reporting – that is unhealthy for society.”

Justice Tipping also speaks on the Supreme Court, on which he has sat since its establishment in 2004, maintaining objectivity in a small country, becoming a judge and current legal graduates.