New Zealand Law Society - "Save the date" for Chief Justice valedictory sitting

"Save the date" for Chief Justice valedictory sitting

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The Ministry of Justice has asked the New Zealand Law Society to advise members of the legal profession that the valedictory sitting in honour of the retirement of Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias will be at 11:30am on Friday, 8 March 2019.

The sitting will take place at the Supreme Court in Wellington.

Photo of Dame Sian Elias
Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.

Because the courtroom itself has limited seating, the sitting can be watched from the foyer by video link.

Dame Sian was appointed Chief Justice on 17 May 1999 at the age of 50. Her 70th birthday will be on 13 March 2019. Section 133 of the Senior Courts Act 2016 requires members of the judiciary to retire on attaining the age of 70 years.

Dame Sian's retirement will also be marked by a conference in Auckland at which distinguished international and New Zealand speakers will explore tradition and direction in the law.

The two-day conference will run from 31 January to 1 February and will be held at the Fisher & Paykel Auditorium, University of Auckland. It will close with a special dinner at the Auckland Museum on Friday, 1 February.

The conference is being hosted by the Legal Research Foundation, with the support of the New Zealand Law Foundation. It will be chaired by Law Foundation Chair Dr Andrew Butler.

The Legal Research Foundation says the conference is the principal opportunity for the New Zealand legal profession to acknowledge the Chief Justice upon her retirement.

Further details about the conference programme will be available shortly. Pre-registration information is available at

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