Pacific Personalities - Andrew Kidu
Andrew Kidu, Principal
What is something that surprised you about practicing in the Pacific?
More of a realisation than a surprise was the lack of up-to-date legal resources, most importantly primary legal materials like legislation, court decisions, treaties and decisions of tribunals or regulatory authorities. These are fundamental to the practice of law and I was surprised at the considerable time it takes to find the latest law as it is not usually found in one central repository - rather you have to trawl through various Government and regulatory websites and call on friends to assist.
If you could travel back in time and observe any legal trial or event, which one would you choose and why?
Definitely Mabo v Queensland (No 2). Not only an historic and landmark decision to reject the nonsense of terra nullius but also to recognise native title and related rights. A defining moment in Australian jurisprudence which I would have loved to witness. I imagine if I were there in person I would have shouted, in the immortal words of Darryl Kerrigan, “suffer in your jocks”.
Can you share a funny or unusual anecdote from your time practising law?
There are many but one that stands out is when a furious father sent my telco client a letter of demand stating my client was liable for his son breaking his arm after a fall from a high tree because he had to climb up it to gain mobile reception… and the demand letter attached a photo of the father pointing up to his son, arm in a cast and sling, at the top of said tree with a phone in his hand to demonstrate where he had fallen from. I’m sure the irony was lost somewhere there.
What made you pursue a career in law?
The greatest man I have ever known and my hero (superhero), my dad. He had an intelligent and gentle but fiercely independent mind and always fought for his people and justice.
How do you stay current with legal developments and changes in the Pacific?
Apart from using the usual Pacific legal tools like paclii, I regularly check websites of statutory/regulatory bodies and social media which usually have updates on changes to the law and legal landscape.
Photos: By Andrew Kidu, Papua New Guinea
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and how would you use it in your legal work?
Reading minds like Professor X…what an excellent tool to know what your client and opposing lawyers are really thinking!
What is your favourite way to unwind/relax or favourite leisure activity?
I definitely love spending time with my 4 daughters, although I wish they would show more appreciation for my jokes. They keep me grounded and ensure I know my place…which is usually doing their laundry or ordering via Ubereats.
What is your favourite bar or restaurant?
I am a little biased but Tutu Beach Retreat, Taurama, Port Moresby. Best fish n chips and coldest beer by the beach in POM.
Photo: John Ridgway, Head of Legal Services Pacific Legal Network with Andrew Kidu, Principal, Kidu Lawyers