News Item

December 2014

Biography "Prendergast: Legal Villain?" is now available

Grant Morris’s biography of New Zealand’s infamous and second longest serving Chief Justice, James Prendergast, was launched by Justice John McGrath on 12 November. The venue was the magnificent old High Court in Wellington where Justice Prendergast himself had presided for a number of years.

Dr Morris says that while Prendergast was known mainly for his 1877 condemnation of the Treaty of Waitangi as “a simple nullity”, he was also a highly respected lawyer and judge and arguably New Zealand’s dominant legal professional from 1865 to 1899.

Morris’s book asks “Who was this legal villain? Was he really a villain at all?”

The biography, published by Victoria University Press, was made possible by a grant from the Law Foundation.

Further information about the publication
Link to Radio NZ interview with Grant about his book

The New Zealand Law Foundation provided funding of $11,000 for this Victoria University of Wellington project.