New Zealand Law Society - New judicial appointments welcomed

New judicial appointments welcomed

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The appointment of Dame Ellen France to the Supreme Court means that men and women are equally represented on our highest court, New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck says.

Dame Ellen's appointment from 22 July will mean the Supreme Court has a bench of three men and three women.

"As far as we can determine, no other common law jurisdiction has equal gender balance on its highest court. Judicial appointments are made on merit, and it is encouraging that the near-equal numbers of male and female lawyers in New Zealand are reflected on the Supreme Court.

"Justice Ellen France is a highly regarded judge with a formidable track record, first as a High Court Judge and over the past ten years sitting in the Court of Appeal with the last two as President."

Ms Beck says the Law Society also congratulates Justice Stephen Kós on his appointment as President of the Court of Appeal in place of Justice Ellen France.

"With his five years as a member of the judiciary Justice Kós will continue the strong leadership which Justice Ellen France has given as President of the very busy Court of Appeal.

"My congratulations are also extended to Justice Raynor Asher and Justice Brendan Brown who have been appointed to the Court of Appeal bench.

"Their promotion is recognition that both have continued their distinguished careers in legal practice after judicial appointment.

"New Zealand is fortunate to have such a depth of experience and skills within its judiciary."