Judges honoured for human rights work

17:00, Jun 01 2014

Two judges who have been awarded high honours have helped to promote human rights internationally.

High Court judge Lowell Goddard and Supreme Court judge Susan Glazebrook have both been made dame companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Each has held positions of international significance in the law and human rights fields.

Dame Lowell Goddard, 65, says her honour recognised New Zealand's significant commitment to and leadership in the upholding of human rights, here and overseas.

She has had a trailblazing career as one of the first women appointed a Queen's Counsel in New Zealand in 1988, and in 1992 was made deputy solicitor-general overseeing prosecution of serious crime.

As a lawyer in the 1980s, she had been counsel assisting Dame Silvia Cartwright, then a district court judge, who headed an inquiry into allegations concerning the treatment of cervical cancer at National Women's Hospital.


It is believed Goddard was the first High Court judge of Maori descent when she was appointed in 1995.

In 2007 she was appointed as Police Complaints Authority, later to be chairwoman of the Independent Police Conduct Authority. Her term ended in 2012 and she returned to the High Court.

In 2010 she was elected as an expert member of the United Nations subcommittee for the prevention of torture, particularly focusing on Asia and the Pacific.

Goddard said being made a dame companion was a delight and an honour that also reflected on the work of the judiciary as a whole.

She is now the longest-serving High Court judge still holding a permanent appointment. Trials she has presided over include the 2002 case against Bruce Howse for murdering his two stepdaughters Saliel Aplin, 12, and Olympia Jetson, 11, in Masterton, and in 2004 the Nelson case of the man acquitted of murdering his severely brain-damaged baby.

Dame Susan Glazebrook was made a High Court judge in 2000, appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2002, and the Supreme Court in 2012.

Glazebrook, 58, specialised in tax and finance law before being made a judge. For eight years she was a member of the Advisory Council of Jurists for the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions.

She has also been chairwoman of the Institute of Judicial Studies which educates New Zealand judges.

She is married to former All Black Greg Kane.

The Dominion Post