High Court Justice John Priestley

PRIESTLEY, John Maurice

High Court Justice John Priestley

Professional Data:

2014 Judge Survey Score (1-10):  8.3    Ranking (out of 62):  10thJustice-John-Priestley sm

Postion & Titles: QC
Judge of: High Court, Auckland, since 2000
Specializations and Professional Interests: Family Law
Professional Comments: John Priestley J is generally a fair-minded and adept judge but still suffers from what can be euphemistically called a “blind spot” concerning indiscretions by powerful lawyers and Crown prosecutorial misconduct in wrongful convictions.Two unrelated 2012 rulings by Justice Priestley bear this out: In striking out a claim against the Crown without hearing (Slavich v AG [2012]) Justice Priestley decreed “There is absolutely no evidence (nor will there ever be) that the Hamilton Crown Prosecutors or other law officers tampered with evidence.”  In Clayton v R (CIV2011 409 1178 [2012] NZHC 2777, Justice Priestley claimed witholding of evidence by the Prosecutor concerning the credibility of a Crown witness “without [whose] evidence it is arguable the Crown would have had a weak case” (quote according to Priestley) could not have, on the balance of probabilities, been intentional – in granting strike out of a civil action against the Prosecutor without a hearing.
Background / Education: Graduated BA LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1968 where he was a senior scholar in law. He then graduated to an MA degree from Cambridge University and a doctorate in 1972 from the University of Virginia.Priestley J was a partner in an Auckland firm from 1975 until becoming a barrister sole in 1983. Justice Priestley was noted for his interest in family law and was the chairman of the NZ Law Society’s family law section. He was the original chairman of the Deportation Review Authority, and was deputy chairman of the Refugee Status Appeal Authority and chairman of the Film Censorship Board of Review.

Justice Priestley was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and was appointed to the High Court bench in 2000.

Degrees: LLB (Hons.) Auckland, 1968, MA Cambridge, 1972
Admitted to the Bar: 1968
Company Involvements:

Personal Data

Born: 19/12/43 Sex: Male
Married: 1971  Anne Rosemary Whitby Children: 4 (James Lionel Maurice b.1978, Jessica Mary b.1980, Charles Edmond John b.1983, Alastair David b.1984)
Interesting Relationships and Coincidences: