Chief justice appoints trio of acting judges to high court

Pandemic-related disruptions continue to keep NZ courts busy

Chief justice appoints trio of acting judges to high court

Chief Justice Te Tumu Whakawā Dame Helen Winkelmann has announced the appointment of three acting judges, in line with the high court’s efforts to meet a national backlog and increased workload caused by COVID-19 related disruptions.

The judges who will take up their acting warrant on their retirement date later this year are:

  • Justice Robert Osborne, who has been appointed an acting judge of the high court starting October 15, 2023,
  • Justice Simon Moore, who has been appointed an acting judge of the high court starting October 22, 2023, and
  • Justice Helen Cull, who will be discharging her functions as an acting judge of the high court effective October 24, 2023.

All three temporary appointments were made by the Governor-General acting upon the recommendation of the Attorney-General. They are set to end at the end of December 2024.

The last batch of temporary high court appointments happened last December 2022, when Winkelmann announced the appointment of Christine Gordon, Paul Davison, and David Gendall as acting high court judges, also in order to help the court manage the COVID-induced, heightened workload. Davidson and Gendall’s terms are set to expire on August 31 this year, while Gordon will continue her role as acting judge of the high court until December 31, 2024, alongside Osborne, Moore, and Cull.

Apart from the three newly appointed acting judges, there are now 40 high court judge full-time employees (FTE), including the Chief High Court Judge Justice Susan Thomas, who was appointed last June 1 , 2020, and seven associate judges.

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