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Judgments of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on Proceedings to Review Aspects of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster C.A. 95/81   By:

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The book I am reviewing is a compilation of judgments from the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on proceedings that reviewed aspects of the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster. Published by the New Zealand Court of Appeal, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the legal implications surrounding this tragic event.

The Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster, which occurred on November 28, 1979, involved the crash of an Air New Zealand aircraft in Antarctica, resulting in the loss of all 257 passengers and crew members on board. This catastrophic event led to a comprehensive inquiry by the Royal Commission, aiming to scrutinize the circumstances that led to the disaster.

The book primarily focuses on the subsequent legal proceedings that aimed to review and assess various aspects of the Royal Commission's report. These proceedings, documented within the book, shed light on the legal intricacies involved in such cases. It offers a fascinating insight into the complexities of the judicial system and the challenges faced by the Court of Appeal in addressing the aftermath of the disaster.

The compilation of judgments provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the legal arguments presented by different parties involved and showcases the Court of Appeal's deliberations on each aspect. The book meticulously breaks down the technical and legal aspects of the case, making it accessible for legal practitioners, academics, and anyone interested in the legal ramifications of the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster.

One of the commendable aspects of this book is its unbiased and objective approach. The judgments presented reveal the meticulousness with which the Court of Appeal considered each argument, ensuring a fair and impartial analysis of the case. It highlights the commitment to justice and the relentless pursuit of truth within the judicial system.

Moreover, throughout the book, the authors strive to provide contextual information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the legal proceedings. This allows readers unfamiliar with the intricacies of New Zealand law to follow along without difficulty. In addition, the book includes a comprehensive index that aids researchers and scholars in navigating through specific aspects or areas of interest.

While this book offers a wealth of legal analysis, it may not appeal to a general audience seeking a more narrative-driven account of the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster. It is primarily a resource for legal professionals, students, and researchers who wish to delve into the technical details of the case.

In conclusion, the book "Judgments of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on Proceedings to Review Aspects of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster" serves as a valuable resource for those interested in the legal repercussions of this tragic event. It provides an authoritative account of the Court of Appeal's deliberations, offering a deep understanding of the legal complexities surrounding the disaster. The meticulous analysis and impartiality displayed throughout make it an essential read for individuals interested in the legal aspects of aviation disasters or New Zealand's judicial system.

First Page:


C.A. 95/81

In the Court of Appeal of New Zealand Between Air New Zealand Limited, First Applicant, and Morrison Ritchie Davis, Second Applicant, and Ian Harding Gemmell, Third Applicant, and Peter Thomas Mahon, First Respondent, and the Attorney General, Fourth Respondent, and New Zealand Airline Pilots Association, Fifth Respondent, and the Attorney General, Sixth Respondent.


Woodhouse P. Cooke J. Richardson J. McMullin J. Somers J.


5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 October 1981.


L.W. Brown Q.C. and R.J. McGrane for first and second applicants.

D.A.R. Williams and L.L. Stevens for third applicant.

G.P. Barton and R.S. Chambers for first respondent.

C.J. McGuire for fourth respondent (Civil Aviation Division) leave to withdraw.

A.F. MacAlister and P.J. Davison for fifth respondent.

W.D. Baragwanath and G.M. Harrison for sixth respondent.


22nd December 1981.


On 5 August 1981, for reasons then given, this Court ordered that these proceedings be removed as a whole from the High Court to this Court for hearing and determination... Continue reading book >>

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