Former Director of Standards for the New Zealand Law Society, Captain Eric Deane OBE, died of cancer at the end of August.
Eric gained his legal qualifications while in the Navy, often studying in difficult conditions while on service at sea, and later served as the first full-time Director of Legal Services for the Ministry of Defence. During that time he oversaw the merger of the separate justice systems of the armed forces into one system.
After retiring from the Navy, he worked at Chapman Tripp in Wellington as National Executive Director for nearly 10 years before joining the New Zealand Law Society in mid-1995 to head the Standards Department, which is responsible for the difficult areas of ethics, complaints and discipline, the inspectorate and auditing, management of the Fidelity Fund and related matters. During his tenure, the new Financial Assurance Scheme with the enhanced inspectorate was implemented.
Eric maintained his links with the military justice system, serving as Judge Advocate providing legal rulings for courts martial.
After retiring from the Law Society in January 2001, he and his wife Maria moved to Marlborough.
This obituary was first published in LawTalk 612, 29 September 2003, page 3.