Women now head every level of the NZ judicary

June 20th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

Chris Finlayson announced:

The Honourable Sir Mark O’Regan has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court and the Honourable Justice Ellen France will replace him as President of the Court of Appeal, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

This means New Zealand now has as head of benches for all four principal courts:

  • Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue
  • Chief High Court Judge Justice Helen Winkelmann
  • Court of Appeal President Justice Ellen France
  • Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias

I suspect we may be the only country in the world to have women head up every level of the . Pretty significant when you consider that it was only a few decades ago that women became lawyers in significant numbers, let alone judges. Our first female judge was in 1975 (Dame Augusta Wallace). The first female high court judge was Dame Silvia Cartwright in 1993.

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67 Responses to “Women now head every level of the NZ judicary”

  1. jp_1983 (207 comments) says:

    What does being a female have anything to do with it?

    Is she the best person for the job?

    If so that is good enough for me…

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  2. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Sounds like sexual discrimination to me.

    Judges chosen on their gender rather than their ability.

    Watch the Judicial system go down hill like the likewise gender focused Police Force.

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  3. Gulag1917 (878 comments) says:

    Is there some quota at work?

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  4. Jack5 (5,053 comments) says:

    jp_1983 posted at 4.38:

    Is she the best person for the job?

    That’s a bit loaded isn’t it, jp_1983?

    “She the best person…”

    Were you being tongue in cheek?

    Yep, NZ leads the world in social progressiveness. No wonder Redbaiter thinks the country is being eaten away by a plague of progs.

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  5. stephieboy (2,794 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, is ti making you fill your trousers yet again.?

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  6. slightlyrighty (2,471 comments) says:

    I look forward to Labour announcing their new policy that half of these appointments must go to men.

    I have a long wait methinks….

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  7. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    Judges chosen on their gender rather than their ability.

    Evidence?

    Or BS.

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  8. adze (2,105 comments) says:

    @RRM
    Almost certainly the latter.

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  9. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Stephie: I think poor old Red might have moved past trousers…to what the perpetually bewildered have to wear when things reach that certain stage…

    but it certainly suggests the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs is long past its use by…does anyone in the tertiary system know if one can still get a degree in “womens’ studies”??

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  10. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    Hardly equality then is it.

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  11. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    “Stephie: I think”

    You girly men stick together now, otherwise its a big nasty botty smack from Mummy for you.

    In strict accordance with Commie Bradford’s regulations of course.

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  12. Gulag1917 (878 comments) says:

    Study Gender Studies at Otago
    http://www.otago.ac.nz/courses/subjects/gend.html

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  13. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Red: You know something old son? You have become just plain boooring….and more than a little sad.

    How’s the new party coming on?

    Get a copy of “Hellfighters” from the classic video store in Tauranga, put your redwings and tooled helmet on, and settle down in front of a nice warm fire…

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  14. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Got any comment on the subject Dave, or do you just come here to slag off people who don’t share you’re pathetic Prog viewpoint?

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  15. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Gulag: Thanks for that…its become even more PC I see..GENDER studies now, not womens”’

    Note the bit about the teaching being interactive and informal…In other words they all sit around “sharing” horror stories about what men do/have done to them, write one essay and get an A…

    That’s pretty much how it worked at Canterbury back in the late 80’s…Some of my younger mates used to sneak up the back stairs when Womens’ studies “lectures” were on and report back…

    Imagine fronting up for a job interview being very proud of your B Soc. Sci. with a major in Gender Studies…Radio NZ producer perhaps??

    No, the word is “your” pathetic viewpoint Red…”you’re” is short for you are…just being helpful… I know how concerned you are with standards…

    And I slag off very few “people” here ..Russ…(since you’ve taken a liberty and called me Dave)…you’re special…

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  16. jp_1983 (207 comments) says:

    @jack

    If it was a man I would have asked is he the best person for the job

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  17. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    “Thanks for that…its become even more PC I see”

    3 comments to get to one on the issue.

    Typical prog who lets his intolerance for disagreement override every other consideration.

    Actually you profess to be a lawyer don’t you?

    If your abilities as a commenter on here are any reflection on your commercial abilities than I can see why you’re no Johnny Cochrane.

    Maybe those wimmen did get there just because many male lawyers have all turned into talentless girly men.

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  18. Keeping Stock (10,299 comments) says:

    Provided the appointments have been made on merit, I have no problem with them whatsoever. I would love to see Redbaiter’s evidence though that they are part of a plan by evil Progs (whatever a Prog is) to turn us all into commies :D

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  19. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    :lol: LOL – it’s “progressive” to even acknowledge the possibility that the top candidates at each level might all be wimmin!

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  20. CJPhoto (219 comments) says:

    I think we were also first to have all female prime minister, Governor General and Chief Justice at the same time. (Plus bonus points for female CEO of biggest listed company too).

    So where is this glass ceiling?

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  21. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Oh dear Red…Johnny Cochrane was a litigator, like me …that involves advocacy, not “commercial abilities”…

    I’ll give you a wee tip I learned at Uni all those years ago…never never NEVER use a “big word” unless you are quite sure you know the meaning of it..

    I got caught once using “approbation” in an essay when I mean “opprobrium”…The late great Dr Vincent Orange put several red rings around it, with “means approval!!” underneath…a lesson never forgotten

    There you go…call this place your “Open University”…I’m sure there is more to you than drilling shallow holes with a rinky dink single stander rig..

    CJ: Precisely…but you can bet your arse they will still keep banging on about it, and the Ministry will keep on spending a few million of our money every year…

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  22. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    It’s a widely acknowledged truth in the construction industry that many young graduate civil engineers barely know their arse from their elbow, let alone how a screw driver works…

    In an attempt to combat this, and give fresh faced young grads at least a little appreciation of what a left-handed 17mm bolt is, canterbury engineering school used to make all its kids spend two days at CPIT, being taught by aging pommy fitters and turners how to use milling machines, arc welders, lathes etc.

    One of the instructors said that in his experience the women students usually produced the best work, because when in doubt they would stop and ask questions, whereas the boys would press on regardless until things were totally beyond salvation.

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  23. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    RRM: I think it’s the same with junior doctors…my first wife was a reg nurse…she used to tell me how junior docs would prescribe lethal doses of meds (50mg per hour instead of 5 mg for example)…and the male ones would never be told, so the nurse had to go over their heads…

    I hope the Engineering School made sure the new grads knew what a left hand screwdriver and a sky hook were…

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  24. Paul Marsden (996 comments) says:

    There goes the old boys club (sigh)

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  25. fernglas (147 comments) says:

    Ellen France is smart, organised, and very sensible. Plus she comes from Whangarei. Four out of four for me.

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  26. Redbaiter (8,551 comments) says:

    Is this a classic example that suggests why women Judges might not be a good idea?

    She used that old woman’s prerogative thing and “changed her mind.”

    Too bad about the poor people’s lives she ruined with her idiot decision.

    “A judge who condemned a Christian couple for turning away gay guests from their hotel yesterday said her decision may have been wrong.

    Supreme Court deputy president Baroness Hale called for a rethink on religious and gay rights six months after she rejected the B&B owners’ arguments in a key test case.

    Lady Hale said in a speech that the law has done too little to protect the beliefs of Christians. And she cast doubts over her own judgment in the landmark case in which a gay couple sued Christian hoteliers Peter and Hazelmary Bull.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2663037/I-wrong-condemn-Christian-B-amp-B-owners-says-judge.html

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  27. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    The sad thing about this latest appointment is that because we are so suffocatingly PC in New Zealand there will be man (including me) who doubt the ability of these ladies and wonder if they have been appointed simply because they are female.

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  28. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    It was a female judge who kept the LAX incident silent eh? Shame on a very sick justice system!

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  29. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Tell us more D4J

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  30. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    And a top female cop helped cover up the sordid incident. NZ is a very corrupt country. All will be revealed in due time!

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  31. Ed Snack (1,849 comments) says:

    But there is the issue that the moment you have these sexual or racial quotas every promotion of one of the preferred minority does get compromised by the “were they the best or just the best X”. Personally I’m quite convinced on performance grounds that we have at least one and probably two of those top judges who would not be there if they weren’t women. They could well be the best, but how could we, and they, be sure.

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  32. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Hopefully with Ellen France J being promoted we actually get some acceptable tax jurisprudence.

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  33. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Has Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias have more racehorses than the Queen has?

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  34. georgebolwing (795 comments) says:

    Anyone who had bothered to actually observe what is happening in New Zealand rather than just be blinded by their prejudices would have seen this as inevitable.

    The law and medicine are two professions where it is very easy to combine parenting with professional development. Women, and men for that matter, can enter the profession from university, climb the ladder of success and then, if they choose to have children, work part-time or at least dial back their workload while continuing to remain connected to latest professional developments. the higher incomes lawyers earn also mean that they can pay for childcare.

    Enrollments in medicine and law at New Zealand are now more than 50% female and so it is not surprising that with the passage of time, women will, on merit, start to equally be comprise a majority of judges.

    Seems to simply be the case of people picking the careers that best suit their expectations and skills.

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  35. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Come on D4J, now is the time to tell us all about it. I for one would love to know the inside story.

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  36. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    You would be the last person on this planet I’d share the facts with. Go away creep.

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  37. peterwn (3,243 comments) says:

    David – Engineering students have to find summer vacation work relevant to their studies. You can rest assured that they would soon understand what left handed screwdrivers, long stands (after waiting half an hour outside Joe’s store) etc are. All law students should IMO do a bout of jury service. but I am not sure how this could be logistically arranges.

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  38. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Oh come on now D4J. I would love to hear you tell the truth for a change.

    Or, are you like your hero Bedwetter?, in other words are you all mouth and no trousers?

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  39. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Who is “Bedwetter” is that your boy friend, who played in your cricket team, while you were in the UK?

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  40. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Bedwetter is your silly old mate from Tauranga, you know who he is. If you are nice to him he may let you have a crack at his Sarah Palin doll.

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  41. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Who fucking cares. Woman, men, as long as they do their job properly who fucking cares.

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  42. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    big bigot – come on Mr Cricket bat boy tell us how much fun you had with the handle.

    Helen Klark sure made the gals would taint the judiciary eh. She done her job well. Yeah right!!

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  43. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Are you trying to steer the conversation around to sex again D4J?

    I told you that I am not interested in meeting you, nor am I interested in having sex with you. I am not gay nor bi. So please D4J, stop sending me emails asking for a date.

    Now, back on topic. Tell us what you know about LAX.

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  44. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    More lies from a disturbed big bigot please share the alleged emails so everybody can see you are a crackpot pathological liar.Put up or shut up you deranged queer creep.

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  45. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Only if you share your emails from your good mate McCaw.

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  46. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Put up your emails you malicious lying c##t!

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  47. georgebolwing (795 comments) says:

    Red

    Your ability to conclude on the basis of a newspaper report of a UK case that women judges are a bad idea is breathtaking.

    As I read Bull v Hall, admittedly, very quickly, nine UK judges (one in the county court, three in the Court of Appeal and five the Supreme Court) all decided that UK law did not permit Mr and Mrs Bull to refuse to serve Mr Preddy and Mr Hall.

    How this in any way shows that women shouldn’t be judges is beyond me.

    I can also not see from again a quick read of Lady Hale’s speech that she has gone anywhere near saying that “she has changed her mind”. She gives a strong defence of the decision, but concludes with a observation that Parliament may still have some work to do to strike the right balance in cases of competing rights.

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  48. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    D4J

    If you don’t stop sending them I may well stick them on here. At this stage I am not prepared to heap any more ridicule or embarrassment upon you D4J, you manage to do that all on your own.

    But please, do stop.

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  49. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    As any of the above female judge’s would say produce them as evidence or shut your malicious mouth up.

    The kiwiblog jury awaits with much anticipation.

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  50. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    So anyway D4J, what can you tell us about LAX?

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  51. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Produce the emails said the honourable female judge.

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  52. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    The emails from McCaw?

    You are confused, I never said I had emails from him, that was you.

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  53. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    “So please D4J, stop sending me emails asking for a date.”

    Are you drunk? The court of truth demands you produce your evidence or STFU. You are a nutter.

    I bet you big bigot can’t find any emails. This dude frightens me. I hope he is in a padded jacket?

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  54. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    You know a bit about the courts D4J?

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  55. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    D4J

    Look at it this way. Three less female judges likely to be presiding over wife beater cases.

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  56. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    burt – I wonder when the judiciary or the pollies gets around to making a law that states female assaults male?

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  57. big bruv (13,725 comments) says:

    Good point Burt

    Three less judges to issue protection orders as well.

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  58. smttc (741 comments) says:

    I am a lawyer and this development does not worry me in the slightest. What seriously worried me what when all three branches of government were headed by women under Helen Clark.

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  59. PaulL (5,971 comments) says:

    What interests me is that when all of a group of positions are held by men that is prima facie evidence of discrimination. Logically the converse would also be evidence of discrimination, or at the very least of a lack of discrimination. But that is not something that we would often discuss. I have my doubts, for example, that Dame Sian Elias was the best choice for head of the Supreme Court. But it happened anyway.

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  60. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    stephieboy must be delighted with joy. Long live the sisterhood!

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  61. Daphne Whitethigh (12 comments) says:

    This is not good news.

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  62. peterwn (3,243 comments) says:

    Reminds me of a Tom Scott (I think) cartoon years ago. Helen Clark had called a meeting of influential women and attendees included Dame Cath, Dame Sian and even Jenny Shipley (as Opposition Leader). Their aim – a female All Blacks captain.

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  63. stephieboy (2,794 comments) says:

    Manolo, the issue i and bottom line is does the appointment of women to the judiciary in the manner claimed compromise and undermine the administration of justice.?
    If that is the case cite examples or is this some typical hysterical misogyny that the likes of Redbaiter and yourself keep wetting and fulling your trousers over.?

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  64. Gulag1917 (878 comments) says:

    If the new appointee does the job, well and good. The concern is such appointees are often distracted by isms.

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  65. ross411 (774 comments) says:

    I look forward to Labour establishing gender equality in this area, as they have on their list, when they get into power. People can call it a vag-ban, but equality shouldn’t mean just banning men. Don’t forget, we’re all equal, unless you’re maori and then you are more equal and have special voting rights and repeated payments (“settlements”) of whitey-tax and so forth.

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  66. backster (2,152 comments) says:

    Was this the Judge France under whose oversight Ewen McDonald was found Not Guilty of a heinous killing or the Judge France who dismissed serious drug charges against 21 Red Devil Bikies (covert Hells Angels.)

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  67. Random Punter (68 comments) says:

    No, it was her husband, Simon France, who presided over the Ewen Macdonald trial.

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