Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, GNZMThe Right Honourable Dame Elias is the 12th Chief Justice of New Zealand and the first woman to be appointed to that office. She graduated from Auckland University with an LLB Honours Degree in 1970 and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar the same year. She studied at Stanford University, from which she graduated in 1972 with a Master’s Degree in Law. Following her return to New Zealand, Dame Sian worked first as a solicitor and then as a barrister in Auckland. In 1984-1989 she was a member of the Law Commission working particularly on the reform of company law.
In 1988, Dame Sian was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. She appeared in a number of significant cases, including cases concerning the Treaty of Waitangi. She was awarded a Commemorative Medal in 1990 in recognition of services to the legal profession.
In 1995, Dame Sian was appointed Judge of the High Court in Auckland. On 17 May 1999, she was appointed Chief Justice of New Zealand and was made a Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Chief Justice was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1999 and first sat on the Privy Council in 2001.
When in 2003 the Supreme Court Act established a final Court of Appeal in New Zealand, the Chief Justice became the head of the new Supreme Court. That court began sitting in July 2004.
When the Governor-General is unable to perform the functions of office or is absent from New Zealand, the Chief Justice is authorised and empowered to perform those functions as the Administrator of Government under the Letters Patent.
Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie DoogueChief Judge Jan-Marie Doogue is the Chief District Court Judge of New Zealand and was appointed to that position on 1 September 2011. She has responsibility for a bench of 172 judges.
She was appointed a Judge to the District and Family Courts of New Zealand in 1994. In 2007 she was granted a Jury Warrant and was appointed an alternate Environment Court Judge in 2011.
In 2001/2 Chief Judge Doogue was a New Zealand judicial representative to The Hague on the civil aspects of international child abduction. From 2003 to 2007 she was Chair of the Drafting Committee of a Global Treaty on Child Support at The Hague and in 2007 was Vice President of the 21st Diplomatic Session of The Hague Private International Law Conference. In 2009 she was appointed President of the Commission of the Hague Private International Law Conference (Child Support Convention).
Chief Judge Doogue has presented numerous papers to international conferences, most recently on the International Framework for Court Excellence and judicial administration (including Judicial Performance measures).
The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of VictoriaChief Justice Warren was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria in November 2003.
The Chief Justice signed the Roll of the Victorian Bar in 1985 and practised predominantly in the areas of administrative law, commercial law and town planning. In 1997 she was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In 1998 she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria. The Chief Justice was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by Monash University in 2004. In June 2005, the Chief Justice was made a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC). She assumed the role of Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria on 7 April 2006.
The Chief Justice also chairs a number of legal and legal education bodies.
Hon Chief Justice Sir Gordon WardSir Gordon Ward went to school and university in England. He obtained a BSc in botany, zoology and geology and taught biology in Northern Ireland. He reads for the Bar and was called in the Middle Temple and practiced from chambers in Kings Bench Walk in London for 12 years.
In 1979 he was appointed as Magistrate and Chief Magistrate of Fiji. Since then, he has been Resident Judge of the British Sovereign Areas of Cyprus, Chief Justice of Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turks, Caicos Island and Tuvalu. Sir Gordon Ward has sat as an Appeal Judge in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands and was President of the Fiji Court of Appeal.
Hon Chief Justice Sir (Gilbert) John Baptist Muria KtHon Chief Justice Sir (Gilbert) John Baptist Muria Kt is the Chief Justice of Kiribati. He was awarded the knighthood, Knight Bachelor (Kt) by the Queen in 1995.
Sir John has extensive judicial decision making experience (over 20 years) stretching from the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. He was the first Solomon Islander to be appointed Judge of the High Court of Solomon Islands and the first Solomon Islander Chief Justice of Solomon Islands, serving in that post for 11 years before taking up judicial appointments under Commonwealth Assignments abroad. He served in Sierra Leone, West Africa as Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court for 3 years (2004 - 2006). Later he served in Belize, in the Caribbean, as Justice of the Supreme Court of Belize for 4 years (2007 – 2011). Sir John was also appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Vanuatu and had sat both in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Vanuatu. Presently he is serving in the Judiciary of Kiribati as Chief Justice of Kiribati. Presently he is also appointed as Chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
Sir John was educated at the University of Papua New Guinea, Bachelor of Laws (LLB); Legal Training Institute of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Certificate of Practical Legal Training. He was admitted as barrister and solicitor of the National & Supreme Courts of PNG; and admitted as barrister and solicitor of the High Court of Solomon Islands. He obtained a Masters of Laws (LLM) with (First Class Honours), Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand.
Judge Colin DohertyColin Doherty was a practising lawyer for 20 years before appointment as Judge of the District Court of New Zealand in 1997. He is an Alternate Judge of the Environment Court and a Justice of the High Court of the Cook Islands. He has been an Associate Judge of the High Court of New Zealand and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Samoa.
Over the last 15 years, Colin has held a number of senior administrative positions in the District Court judiciary. He is currently the National Executive Judge of the District Court, Chair of the International Framework for Courts Excellence Committee of the District Court and is a former Chair of the District Court Civil Committee and former member of the Rules Committee.
Since the February 2011 Christchurch earthquakes he has chaired the Judicial Reference Group for Earthquake Recovery of the Courts.
Colin has presented papers at conferences, seminars and workshops in NZ, Australia and the USA on matters of judicial administration, and on Judicial Settlement Conferencing in NZ, Australia, Canada, Samoa, and the 2007 IOJT conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Justice Ambeng KandakasiJustice Ambeng Kandakasi was appointed Justice of the Supreme and National Courts of Justice of Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 1st November 2000 and is now a senior Justice. His Honour holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of San Diego, USA and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Papua New Guinea. Also his Honour has a certificate and his accredited as a mediator both in Australia and PNG. Before His Honour’s appointment, he had a civil law practice starting as a junior lawyer to a partner of the firm of Young & Williams Lawyers and before that, taught law at the University of PNG.
Presently, His Honour in addition to being a Justice of the Supreme and National Courts, chairs the PNG Judiciary’s ADR Committee overseeing a development and successful implementation of court annexed ADR and mediation in PNG. His Honour is in the forefront of designing ADR and mediation systems and structures and implementing them, practicing, training and equipping of other upcoming mediators both in PNG and overseas. Most of his trainees have been judges, magistrates, lawyers and a few others, in Solomon Islands, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore and in PNG. He has attended and facilitated at a number local and international workshops and trainings in a number of areas of the law, ADR and in particular mediation. His Honour has also presented and published a number of papers at international and local conferences and journals, in the areas of mediation and ADR and human rights. Except for a short 1 year break, His Honour was and continues to be the Vice President of the Perth based, Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF) and significantly contributed to the drafting and adoption of that forum’s constitution and its subsequent amendments. His Honour has successfully mediated in more than 300 cases, involving over 50,000 to 60,000 parties and affected people. Further, his Honour has strong interest in continuing Judicial education and is thus a member of the PNG judiciary’s Centre of Judicial Excellence and the Council of Legal Training Institute of Papua New Guinea.
Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-GatewoodChief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood is the Chief Justice of the US District Court in Guam.
Hon Chief Justice Patu Sapolu1970 – 1975 – BA, LLB, MA (Hons) – Auckland University, New Zealand
1976 – 1979 – Legal Officer, Attorney General’s Office
1979 – 1981 – Senior Legal Officer, Attorney General’s Office
1981 – Temporary Magistrate on 3 separate occasions
1981 – 1982 – Principal Legal Officer, Attorney General’s Office
1982 – 1983 – Secretary for Justice (i.e, CEO of the Department for Justice)
1983 – 1984 – Private Legal Practitioner
1984 – 1986 – Attorney General
1986 – 1988 – Private Legal Practitioner
1988 – 1991 – Attorney General
1990 – Acting Chief Justice (5 – 6 months)
1991 – 1992 – Private Legal Practitioner
1992 – present – Chief Justice
Judge Andrew BecroftHis Honour Judge Andrew Becroft is the current Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand.
Born in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia and educated at Rongotai College, Wellington, Judge Becroft graduated from Auckland University in 1981 with a BA. LLB (Hons) degree. He practised in Auckland with the firm Fortune Manning & Partners, where he was an Associate. In 1986 he assisted with the establishment of the Mangere Community Law Centre and worked there until 1993. He then worked as a criminal barrister in South Auckland until his appointment to the District Court bench, sitting in Wanganui, in 1996. He was appointed Principal Youth Court Judge in June 2001. Judge Becroft was a former council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society.
Judge Becroft is a current editor of LexisNexis Transport Law, is the Patron of the New Zealand Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc.
He is married to Philippa, also a law/arts graduate from Auckland University, and they have three children aged 18, 16 and 12 years of age. Judge Becroft is a keen sports watcher (but an average participant), and a passionate supporter of the Hurricanes and the Black Caps. He is a strong advocate of youth issues.
Judge Heemi Maana TaumaunuBorn in Gisborne, New Zealand, with tribal affiliations to Ngati Pōrou (East Coast, North Island), and Ngāi Tahu (South Island), Judge Taumaunu completed primary and secondary school in Christchurch before joining the New Zealand Army as a Webb Class Regular Force Cadet in 1984. He then served as a Regular Force soldier in the Royal New Zealand Signals Corp for four years.
Graduating from Victoria University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Laws, Judge Taumaunu practised as a barrister and solicitor in the Gisborne region for a number of years prior to his appointment as a District Court Judge in 2004. Judge Taumaunu is warranted to preside over jury, general and youth courts, is a resident Judge of the Waitakere District Court, and is the liaison Youth Court Judge for Waitakere, Gisborne, Ruatoria and Wairoa. Judge Taumaunu is the National Rangatahi Court Liaison Judge, the Chair of the District Court Kaupapa Māori Advisory Group, and the tangata whenua judicial advisor to the Chief Judge’s Advisory Group. In June 2012, Judge Taumaunu was sworn in as a Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand.
Married with three children, Judge Taumaunu has a special interest in Youth Justice and, in particular, Youth Justice for recidivist Māori youth offenders. His Honour presides over the Rangatahi Courts at Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae in Gisborne, Hoani Waititi Marae in Waitakere, and from March 2014, Ngā Hau e Whā Marae in Christchurch.
Ms Faumui Penelope Ginnen (Lope)Lope is the chair of Brainwave Trust Aotearoa, a charity that raises awareness of brain research about the impact of early experiences on infant brain development, which affects children’s physical, social, intellectual and emotional development. Brainwave also publicises recent neuroscience about the development of the adolescent brain. She is a barrister specialising in family law, and balances her legal practice with corporate governance work. She is currently a trustee of Recovery Solutions Group, which provides recovery and rehabilitation services to people affected by mental illness or alcohol and other drug addictions; and Ngati Whatua o Orakei Whai Maia Limited, the post settlement governance entity charged with advancing the wellbeing of the hapu. She is a member of the community advisory group of the Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Courts. Lope is of Samoan and Pakeha descent, and is married with two children and an adult stepdaughter.
Hon Chief Justice Diana BryantChief Justice Bryant graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Melbourne University in 1969 and has a Master of Laws from Monash University. Before her appointment to the Bench she practised as a family lawyer, first with a national firm in Perth and later for 10 years at the Victorian Bar, becoming a Queen’s Counsel in 1997.
Chief Justice Bryant is widely recognised for the role she played in establishing the Federal Magistrates Court (now the Federal Circuit Court) in 2000, having guided the emergence and growth of the Court as inaugural Chief Federal Magistrate from 2000-2004.
She was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court in 2004.
Chief Justice Bryant has had a longstanding commitment to the advancement of women in the law. She is currently the Patron of Australian Women Lawyers, and a Board member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). She received a Centenary Medal in 2001 for her role in the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court and an award within the Order of Australia in 2011 for her distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law, particularly to family law policy reform and practice, through the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court, and to the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Chief Justice Bryant is one of the two Hague Network judges for Australia and is currently chairing a Working Group tasked to produce a Guide to Good Practice for Article 13(1)(b) of the Child Abduction Convention. In her role as Chief Justice she sits regularly as a member of the Appeal Division of the Court.
Judge Peter BoshierJudge Peter Boshier was born and educated in Gisborne and attended Victoria University of Wellington obtaining a Bachelor of Laws with Honours Degree in 1975. After a period of practise in Wellington he was appointed as a District Court Judge with a specialist Family Court warrant in 1988.
Judge Boshier developed a particular interest in child and youth offending and wrote a child offenders manual to enable practitioners to better understand that process. In 2000 he travelled to Samoa in the course of setting up the Manukau Youth Court Pacific Liaison Service and while in Samoa was bestowed with the Matai title of Misa.
Judge Boshier’s close interest in the Pacific continued when in 2002, he was seconded by the New Zealand Government to teach judiciaries in the Pacific. In 2003 while on the staff of the University of the South Pacific, he completed a graduate certificate in tertiary teaching.
In 2004 Judge Boshier was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge and held that position until late 2012. During the eight year period when he was Head of the Family Court, Judge Boshier sought to open the court up more so that its work was more known and more accessible.
Presently, Judge Boshier is a Law Commissioner with the New Zealand Law Commission, advising on aspects of law reform. In addition, he teaches a second year laws course at Victoria University of Wellington titled “Legal Research, Writing and Mooting” and he also teaches in the Pacific for the Pacific Judicial development programme. This is an extension of the teaching he undertook in 2002 and 2003 while based in the Pacific but he now focuses on family violence in the Pacific.
Judge Leilani Tuala-WarrenMs Tuala-Warren received her Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney (1993) her LLB (1996), and LLM (with Distinction) (1997) from University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. She worked for the Office of the Attorney General in Samoa from 1997 to 2000 as a law clerk then State Solicitor before going to New Zealand to teach law as a Law Lecturer in the School of Law, and a Teaching Fellow in Commercial Law in the School of Management University of Waikato. She returned home to Samoa in 2005 to practice law with her brother in the firm Tuala & Tuala Lawyers until she was appointed as the first Executive Director of the Samoa Law Reform Commission in November 2008. She is currently a Honorary Lecturer in Law for the School of Law, Waikato University. She was appointed to the bench in Samoa as a District Court Judge in August 2013.
Cam RonaldCam joined the Police in 1972 at Invercargill. The majority of his operational service has been in the Criminal Investigation Branch in Invercargill, Christchurch and Queenstown, with a particular emphasis on gang investigations and criminal intelligence.
He moved from Invercargill to Police Headquarters in 1989 as the OC of Interpol. This was followed by periods on the INCIS computer project, national coordinator of the undercover programme, development of various initiatives for CIB including anti money laundering procedures and the introduction of the national DNA databank, followed by a period as the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.
In 2001 he and Jenny undertook a three year diplomatic posting to Canberra as the NZ Police Liaison Officer. In 2004 he took up the position of Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat in Wellington.
Cam retired as a sworn member of the Police in March 2007 and he is now re-employed by the NZ Police as a programme manager leading a NZ Government regional police programme, the PPDVP, to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the Pacific.
Cam and Jenny have one son who is a Police Constable working on Youth Aid in Wellington.
Chief Magistrate Stephen FelixStephen Felix is the Chief Magistrate of Vanuatu.
Justice Susan KiefelThe Hon Justice Susan Kiefel was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, in 1954, educated in Queensland and at the University of Cambridge where she received a Masters of Law.
Justice Kiefel was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1975 and was the first woman in Queensland to be appointed Queen's Counsel in 1987. She was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1993 and in 1994 was appointed to the Federal Court. She also held a commission as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island from 2004.
She served as a part time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission. She was appointed a Justice of the High Court on 3 September 2007. She was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2011. She was elected a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in June 2013.
Dr Alex FrameDr Alex Frame LL.D is a barrister of the New Zealand and Cook Islands bars, a public law teacher, and has advised on constitutional questions in several jurisdictions in the South Pacific. Most recently he has been Professor of Law at the University of Waikato. His 1995 biography of Sir John Salmond (1862 – 1924), Salmond: Southern Jurist, was awarded the E.H. McCormick Prize at the 1996 Montana Book Awards as well as the Law Foundation’s J.F. Northey Prize in the same year. In 2002 Alex published a study of the ways in which they New Zealand legal system might better reflect Maori customary law, Grey and Iwikau – A Journey into Custom. His is a co-author of Te Mātāpunenga: A Compendium of References to the Concepts and Institutions of Māori Customary Law, published by Victoria University Press in 2013.
Professor Jennifer CorrinProfessor Jennifer Corrin is Director of the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law and a Professor in the TC Beirne School of Law at The University of Queensland. She is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow researching law reform and development in plural legal regimes and is a partner investigator in an international research collaboration on Indigenous law and legal pluralism funded by the L'Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie. Jennifer has published in the areas of South Pacific law, customary law, human rights, court systems, evidence, civil procedure, family law, land law, constitutional law and contract. Jennifer’s most recent publications include a third edition of Introduction to South Pacific Law; and articles on legal pluralism and questions of proof, family law in the South Pacific, and complexities of legal pluralism.
Before joining The University of Queensland, Jennifer spent six years at the University of the South Pacific, having joined the Faculty after nine years in her own legal firm in Solomon Islands. Jennifer is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Legal Pluralism, a member of the International Editorial Board of the Journal of South Pacific Law and a member of the Editorial Board of Proctor, the journal of Queensland Law Society.
Chief Justice Tom WestonTom Weston has been Chief Justice of the Cook Islands for four years. This is a fulltime position but discharged on a part-time basis. The Judge practices in New Zealand as a Queens Counsel.
Hon Justice Joe WilliamsJustice Williams was appointed a Judge of the High Court on 10 September 2008. He graduated from Victoria University with an LLB in 1986 and from the University of British Columbia, Canada, with an LLM (Hons) in 1988. He then joined, and later became a partner of the law firm Kensington Swan.
After practising as a partner of Walters Williams & Co between 1994 and 1999, Justice Williams was appointed Chief Justice, Māori Land Court in December 1999. Shortly thereafter he was appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal and appointed the Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2004.
Justice Williams is a former Vice President of the Māori Law Society and a former President of Te Rūnanga Rōia o Tāmaki Makaurau, the Auckland Māori Lawyers Association. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a fellow of the Law Faculty at Victoria University of Wellington. His tribal affiliations are Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitahi, Tapuika).
Hon Chief Justice Sir Albert PalmerHon Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer is the Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands.
Hon Justice John Alexander Logan RFDJustice Logan was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in September 2007. He holds additional commissions as a presidential member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (2010) and as a member of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal (2001). In 2011 he was also appointed by Papua New Guinea, with the permission of the Australian Government, as a judge of the Supreme and National Courts of that country. He has since visited PNG on a number of occasions to sit in the Supreme Court hearing civil appeals and to lecture at the Legal Training Institute.
Justice Logan was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1980. He was then working in the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor’s office in Brisbane. He commenced private practice at the Queensland Bar in 1984. In 1990, he served as one of the counsel assisting the Royal commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1999. After taking Silk, Justice Logan practised on a case specific basis in Fiji on a number of occasions in the last few years prior to his appointment to the Federal Court.
In 1993, Justice Logan was awarded the Reserve Force Decoration (RFD) in respect of his service as an officer in the Australian Intelligence Corps in the Army Reserve. He transferred to the Army’s Standby Reserve in the rank of Major that same year.
Judge Richard CliftonRichard Clifton has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit since 2002, with chambers in Honolulu. After graduating from Princeton University (A.B. 1972) and Yale Law School (J.D. 1975), he served for one year as a law clerk for Judge Herbert Y.C. Choy, the first Hawaii resident to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
After the clerkship, he practiced law in Honolulu for 25 years, primarily focusing on business and commercial litigation. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii Williams S. Richardson School of Law, where he began teaching in 1979. He is a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction and the Ninth Circuit Pacific Islands Committee. The 2014 Pacific Judicial Conference is the fifth he has attended as a delegate. He has twice served as an acting associate justice of the Appellate Division of the High Court of American Samoa. He is also a director of the Federal Judges Association, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and the Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute. After serving as its chairman for six years, he remains a director of Hawaii Public Radio. He is married and has two children, a son in graduate school and a daughter in college.