New Zealand Law Society - Justice Patrick Keane retires

Justice Patrick Keane retires

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One of New Zealand's longest-serving judges, Justice Patrick Keane, has retired as a Judge of the High Court after 27 years as a member of the judiciary.

photo of Justice Keane 
Justice Keane. 

"You are the essence of what a Judge should be," New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck told Justice Keane's final sitting in the High Court at Auckland on 23 June 2016.

"You are well known for the respect you show everyone in your courtroom. When appearing before you, counsel, and indeed self-litigants, know that they will be heard and understood. Every person I spoke to described you as incredibly courteous and pleasant - always a gentleman," she said.

"You are well known for writing particularly elegant, informative and highly readable judgments - they are not formulaic at all, and yet do all that they need to do."

Ms Beck said Justice Keane was not only respected, but very well-liked by the profession and the judiciary.

"You are kind, generous, humble and thoughtful. You have been described as having an inner calm; you never seem ruffled and nothing appears to phase you. No-one I spoke to could recall hearing you raise your voice. One of your fellow judges pub this down to your regular attendance at the High Court weekly yoga session. However, sir, I think that it is simply that you are a very good man."

After graduating from Victoria University with a BA in 1968 and LLB(Hons) in 1969, Justice Keane practised with Wellington law firms Izard Weston and Rudd Watts and Stone, and with the Crown Law Office.

He was appointed a District Court Judge and Taxation Review Authority in April 1987 and held Family Court and jury trial warrants. He became a Law Commissioner in May 2001, and a High Court Judge in October 2003.