More on Mason: Cultural factors in sentencing

R v Mason

High Court [2012] NZHC 1849

27 July 2012

In R v Mason [2012] NZHC 1361 Heath J gave reasons for refusing to allow Mr Mason to be dealt with in accordance with tikanga Māori in his trial and sentencing.  After pleading guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder Mr Mason was convicted. Mr Mason was sentenced on 27 July 2012.

Max Harris returns to Heath J’s earlier judgment, explores how tikanga Māori matters were addressed in Heath J’s sentencing notes, and makes some remarks about how cultural considerations (including tikanga Māori considerations) might be incorporated into sentencing in future, particularly in light of the Sentencing Act 2002 and a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Download R v Mason [2012] NZHC 1849 here (88 KB PDF). read more

Supreme Court rules on body burial clash – Takamore v Clarke [2012] NZSC 116

On 18 December 2012 the Supreme Court released its decision in Takamore v Clarke.  The case is about who has the right to decide where a body is buried. read more

Criminal law, application of tikanga Māori (customary law)

R v Mason

High Court [2012] NZHC 1361

15 June 2012

Mr Mason was facing trial on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. He applied to be dealt with in accordance with tikanga Māori (Māori customary law). The High Court refused. Subsequent to this ruling Mr Mason entered guilty pleas to the charges and was remanded for sentence.

The Court’s reasons have now been issued. These contain discussion of how tikanga Māori fits with statute-based criminal law in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Download R v Mason [2012] NZHC 1361 here (203 KB PDF). read more

Customary law as part of the common law – burial; executor’s duties

Takamore v Clarke

Court of Appeal [2011] NZCA 587

23 November 2011

James Takamore died in Christchurch in 2007 having lived most of his adult life there without participating actively in the affairs and customs of his iwi, Whakatohea and Ngāi Tūhoe. After he died, his whanaunga came to claim (tono) his body. Before the matter was resolved by discussions, relatives of the deceased took the tūpāpaku to Opotiki where a tangi (funeral) was held nearby and burial took place in a private urupa (cemetery).

Download Takamore v Clarke [2011] NZCA 587 here (PDF 695 KB). read more