Supreme Court

R v Aerengaroa Timoti;   [2006] 1 NZLR 323; (2005) 21 CRNZ 804 (SCNZ):

The first ever successful criminal appeal to the new Supreme Court. The case, Timoti, heard by the Supreme Court in 2005 resulted in the overturning of a murder conviction from 1999. The appeal focussed on the partial defence of provocation under section 169 of the Crimes Act 1961.


R v Laxman Rajamani;   SC8/2007: [2008] 1 NZLR 723; (2007) 23 CRNZ 696 (SCNZ):

The second ever successful murder appeal in the Supreme Court. The appeal focussed on jury irregularities (the trial was allowed by the trial judge to conclude with only 10 jurors) as well as issues over the directions on provocation and the admission of hearsay evidence.


R v T;  [2006] 2 NZLR 577; (2006) 22 CRNZ 981 (SCNZ):

An appeal against conviction which considered the obligations on trial counsel to avoid inflaming a Crown witness and the obligations of the Court when a witness introduces prejudicial material against the accused.


R v Belcher;  SC34/2008 (SCNZ):

Greg was appointed Amicus Curiae by the Court for this self-represented applicant. An unsuccessful application for leave to bring a criminal appeal against conviction.


R v Aaron WI;  [2010] 2 NZLR 11; (2009) 24 CRNZ 731 (SCNZ):

A very significant and far reaching appeal which reversed several lower Court judgments which had ruled that the age-old practise of adducing evidence (usually through cross-examination of the officer in charge of the file) that the accused lacked previous convictions, was no longer permissible after the passing the Evidence Act 2006 (which they held had rendered such evidence inadmissible because it was neither evidence of propensity nor veracity). The Supreme Court, reversing the Court of Appeal held that such evidence was admissible.


R v Raymond Hessell;  (August 2010),  SCNZ SC102/2009:

(Greg appeared together with Robert Lithgow QC). A hugely important appeal challenging several aspects of the landmark judgment of the full bench of the Court of Appeal on guidelines for credit for pleading guilty. This case is very far reaching and will have an impact on practically every sentencing. This judgment is presently reserved.


R v Petryszick;  (August 2010),  SCNZ SC103/2009:

Greg was appointed  Amicus Curiae by the Supreme Court to present submissions on behalf of a self represented appellant. Solicitor General David Collins QC represented the Crown together with two juniors. The appeal concerned the nature of the ‘right to appeal according to law’ under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 and whether Mr Petryszick had been denied that right by the Court of Appeal (whom had effectively dismissed his appeal for want of prosecution). The Supreme Court accepted Greg’s argument that Mr Petryszick had been denied his right of appeal. The appeal was allowed and the Court of Appeal directed to re-hear his appeal.


R v Duskar Singh; (December 2010), SC42/2010 [2010] NZSC161:

An appeal that considered the nature/scope and application of the immunity from self-incrimination, as well as the admissibility of out of court statements and other evidential issues arising out of the Evidence Act 2006.


R v James Mason;  (November 2010), SC47/2010 [2010] NZSC 129:

This was an extremely high profile case because it was seen by many as the first ‘test case’ of the anti-smacking legislation. Following his conviction at trial for assaulting his young son, Mr Mason represented himself unsuccessfully in the Court of Appeal. By coincidence Greg was in the Court of Appeal on the same day on another case and informally provided some advise to Mr Mason on how he might present his case. After his appeal was declined, Mr Mason contacted Greg and asked him to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court on his behalf.

Greg agreed to act and successfully obtained leave to bring a criminal appeal against conviction for assault on a child in the Supreme Court.  The substantive appeal focussed on the combining of two separate allegations into a single count in the indictment and the directions to the jury by the presiding Judge. The appeal was ultimately allowed by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision. The conviction was quashed and no order for a retrial was made.


R v Stephen Thomas Hudson;  (May 2010), SC100/2010 [2011] NZSC 51:

An appeal against conviction for murder. Mr Hudson had been convicted following a lengthy trial of murdering a man who’s body had never been found. Greg acted in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court for the appellant.  The appeal involved issues around ‘propensity’ evidence and the use of cell mate confessions.  Although many interesting observations were made ultimately the conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court.


R v Azees Mahomed;   (May 2010), SC117/2010 [2011] NZSC 52:

An appeal against convictions for Murder, GBH and Failing to obtain medical treatment. Mr Mahomed was convicted of murdering his infant daughter following his trial in the High Court at Auckland. His wife was convicted of failing to provide medical treatment.  Both of their appeals were dismissed by the Court of Appeal.  Greg was then instructed to represent Mr Mahomed in the Supreme Court. He successfully obtained leave to bring a criminal appeal in the Supreme Court. The substantive appeal was heard in conjunction with that of his wife. The central issue in the Supreme Court hearing related to ‘propensity’ evidence. The Court was divided 3 to 2 on whether the directions on propensity evidence were deficient. The majority held that they were in respect of the murder charge, but went on to uphold the convictions through application of the ‘proviso’. The case represents a significant development in the law on propensity evidence and will inevitably be the leading judgment in this area of law.


R v Fenemor; (October 2011), SC60/2011 [2011] NZSC 127:

An appeal against conviction. The key issue was the admissibility of ‘propensity’ evidence which had previously been produced at a trial where the accused was found Not Guilty. The case involved a policy decision as to whether evidence that had previously resulted in an acquittal could nevertheless be produced as propensity evidence at a subsequent trial. A number of overseas jurisdictions (including Canada) do not allow such evidence to be admitted, whereas it is permissible in the United Kingdom. After considering the overseas authorities and the competing policy considerations, the Supreme Court held (as had the Court of Appeal) that such evidence could be admitted in certain circumstances.



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