Swearing in of Judge Harrison

Judge Harrison        Brian Keene QC
Judge Harrison listens as speakers, including ADLS President Brian Keene QC, pay tribute to him at his swearing in ceremony.

Auckland barrister Gary Harrison has been sworn in as an acting District Court Judge.

Judge Harrison was admitted to the bar in 1970 and has been a barrister sole since 1978, with broad experience in all aspects of litigation but primarily practising in civil and commercial litigation in recent years. He was one of the counsel appointed to assist the Royal Commissioner’s inquiry into the Mt Erebus disaster and was the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards from 1996 to 2010.

Judge Harrison’s swearing in ceremony took place on 31 March 2014. Many leading lights of the legal profession, including ADLS President Brian Keene QC, spoke in support of his elevation to the bench.

After recounting anecdotes of shared experiences as schoolboys at St Peter’s College, Mr Keene QC commented more seriously on the importance of having high quality individuals sit in the District Court: “The District Court is a very important court. It is where the vast majority of cases are resolved. It follows that the quality of appointees is of a very real interest to the profession and the public.”

Mr Keene QC went on to acknowledge Judge Harrison’s excellent listening skills, along with his “lifetime of experience on how to conduct a good judicial process, which is a very necessary ingredient for those coming before the courts – to know they have had any opportunity to have their say and been listened to.”

He also noted Judge Harrison’s contributions as a longstanding member of ADLS: “The benefit which the bench achieves by your elevation is matched by our loss of a member. ADLS congratulates you on the honour of your elevation to the bench and wishes you well in discharging your duties.”

Judge Harrison has been appointed with a general warrant and will be based in Auckland, for a term of two years. 

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