The newest High Court judge has a Twitter feed, and a rich history as the son of immigrants.
So the swearing-in ceremony for Justice Pheroze Jagose in Wellington on Thursday was culturally diverse, with references from Lady Gaga to the heritage of his father, a Parsi Indian descended from Persians. His mother is Irish.
The new judge is the brother of Solicitor-General Una Jagose, or “sister Solicitor” as he called her. He suggested she should take up the offer of the title Celestial General.
Wellington barrister Pheroze Jagose was sworn in by Chief justice Dame Sian Elias.
As well as praising his legal skills, speakers lauded Justice Jagose for his humour, modesty, and grammatical perfection. He was also called a large scary-looking man who could be reliably called to the reception of his former law firm to get rid of uninvited, disruptive visitors.
David Goddard, QC, speaking for the Law Society, said having seen what the judge could do with 140 characters on Twitter, he was looking forward to similarly concise judgments.
Justice Jagose will sit in Auckland.
The court recently received another new judge, Justice Peter Churchman, who has begun sitting in Wellington.
Gerardus van Bohemen will be the next judge sworn in. He will sit in Auckland. Van Bohemen worked in private practice and also held several international roles for the New Zealand government, including ambassador to the United Nations, and New Zealand representative to the UN’s security council.