Thomas Thorp

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Sir Thomas Murray Thorp KNZM (1 December 1925 [1] – 17 October 2018) was a New Zealand lawyer and jurist who served as a judge of the High Court of New Zealand.

High Court of New Zealand Court in New Zealand

The High Court of New Zealand is the superior court of New Zealand. It has general jurisdiction and responsibility, under the Senior Courts Act 2016, as well as the High Court Rules 2016, for the administration of justice throughout New Zealand. There are 18 High Court locations throughout New Zealand, plus one stand-alone registry.

Contents

Professional career

From 1963 to 1979, Thorp was the Crown Solicitor in Gisborne.[ citation needed ] He sat as a judge in the High Court of New Zealand from 1979 until 1996.[ citation needed ] In the 1997 New Year Honours, Thorp was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of his service as a judge of the High Court. [2]

Gisborne, New Zealand Urban area in Gisborne Region, New Zealand

Gisborne is a city in northeastern New Zealand and the largest settlement in the Gisborne District. It has a population of 37,200. The district council has its headquarters in Whataupoko, in the central city.

The New Year Honours 1997 were appointments by most of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries, and honorary ones to citizens of other countries. They were announced on 31 December 1996, to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1997 in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Christopher and Nevis.

Thorp served as chairman of the National Parole Board and sat as a member of the Court of Appeal.[ citation needed ]

Court of Appeal of New Zealand New Zealands main intermediate appellate court

The Court of Appeal of New Zealand is principal intermediate appellate court of New Zealand. It is also the final appellate court for a number of matters. In practice, most appeals are resolved at this intermediate appellate level, rather than in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal has existed as a separate court since 1862 but, until 1957, it was composed of Judges of the High Court sitting periodically in panels. In 1957 the Court of Appeal was reconstituted as a permanent court separate from the High Court. It is located in Wellington.

Later life and death

After his retirement as a judge, Thorp wrote reports into some controversial matters.[ citation needed ]

In 1997, he reviewed New Zealand's gun control measures, and recommended that all firearms be registered.[ citation needed ] He also wrote a report into the David Bain case in which he said he was satisfied with the trial verdict.[ citation needed ]

In 1999, he wrote a report into the Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis case.[ citation needed ] Thorp expressed misgivings with aspects of the case. He could find no corroboration of the children's claims of sexual abuse. He said that section 23G of the Evidence Act should be repealed because it allowed an expert to say that there was no behaviour inconsistent with sexual abuse. His report recommended that the Justice Ministry obtain the opinion of Stephen J. Ceci with regard to the children's evidence.[ citation needed ] The Ministry has ignored this and other recommendations from Thorp's report.[ citation needed ] His report contrasts with that written by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, which upheld Ellis's conviction.[ citation needed ]

Stephen J. Ceci is an American psychologist at Cornell University. He studies the accuracy of children's courtroom testimony, and he is an expert in the development of intelligence and memory. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Awards from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS) as well as many divisional and smaller society awards.

Sir Johann Thomas Eichelbaum was a New Zealand jurist who served as the 11th Chief Justice of New Zealand.

In 2005, Thorp published a book entitled Miscarriages of Justice.[ citation needed ] He researched 53 applications for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and found that at least 20 applicants may have been wrongly imprisoned.[ citation needed ]

Thorp lived in the Auckland suburb of Parnell. He died on 17 October 2018. [3]

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References

  1. "Death search: registration number 2018/29496". Births, deaths & marriages online. Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. "New Year honours list 1997". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1996. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  3. "Sir Thomas Thorp death notice". Dominion Post. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.