New Zealand Law Society - Judge Doherty appointed IPCA chairperson

Judge Doherty appointed IPCA chairperson

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District Court Judge Colin Doherty has been appointed chairperson of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell has announced.

Judge Doherty will succeed Judge Sir David Carruthers, who is standing down after five years in the role. The appointment was made by the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, on Parliament’s recommendation.

“Judge Doherty has 40 years’ experience in New Zealand’s justice system as a lawyer and judge and I’m confident he has the legal acumen, judgment and administrative skills to equip him well for this important and demanding role,” Mr Mitchell says.

Judge Doherty is the National Executive Judge of the District Court. He was appointed to the bench in 1997, following 20 years in legal practice. He is also an Alternate Judge of the Environment Court and Justice of the High Court of the Cook Islands. 

Mr Mitchell also paid tribute to Sir David Carruthers, who has been in the role since April 2012. 

“Under his leadership, the Authority has been a rigorous and independent watchdog of police conduct and he has made a great contribution through his considerable wisdom and skill.

“His distinguished service in this role matches his achievements in a succession of significant legal appointments over many years.”

The IPCA’s role is to investigate complaints alleging any misconduct or neglect of duty by a member of the police or any practice, policy, or procedure of the police affecting the complainant. The IPCA is also responsible for investigating any incident involving serious bodily harm or death notified to it by the Commissioner of Police.