Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission for an 18-month term, effective from 1 February 2020.
The Commission will be based in Hamilton, with Justice Minister Andrew Little saying it is important that the CCRC is independent from the big bureaucratic and judicial centres, Auckland and Wellington.
Mr Little says Mr Carruthers brings a significant amount of mana and credibility to the role, having practised as a senior barrister in both defence and prosecution roles,
Colin Carruthers was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990. He has had significant experience in criminal work, both prosecution and defence, including Serious Fraud Office prosecutions, tax prosecutions, securities prosecutions and other regulatory prosecutions.
Mr Carruthers will be supported by an Establishment Advisory Group, which will provide advice on the CCRC’s design to ensure consistency with the legislation. The Establishment Advisory Group members are:
- Professor Tracey McIntosh – Professor of Indigenous Studies and Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa (School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies) at the University of Auckland;
- Nigel Hampton CNZM, OBE, QC – internationally-applauded criminal defence lawyer;
- Professor Elisabeth McDonald – Professor of Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure at the University of Canterbury;
- Dr Anna Sandiford - Senior Forensic Science Consultant and Director of The Forensic Group Ltd;
- Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni – Associate professor of Criminology at the University of Auckland;
- Tim McKinnel – investigator and previously a detective with New Zealand Police.
The CCRC will begin receiving applications for review of convictions and sentences when it becomes operational on 1 July 2020.
The terms of reference for the Establishment Advisory Group have been released, along with other information on its operation.