Appointment of Judges of Court of Appeal and High Court


The Honourable Justice Simon France has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal and Helen McQueen, former Deputy President of Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission, has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today.

Justice Simon France graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and worked briefly as a solicitor at Nicholson Gribbin before studying overseas, culminating in a Master of Laws from Queen's University, Ontario in 1983.

In 1984 Justice France joined Victoria University of Wellington as a lecturer, later becoming senior lecturer and at various times dean of students and deputy dean of the law faculty.

In 1995 he moved to the Crown Law Office as a Crown Counsel, becoming human rights team leader in 2002. Justice France was appointed a High Court judge in January 2005.

Justice McQueen graduated with an LLB (Hons) in 1986 and a BA (Political Science) in 1987 from Victoria University of Wellington. She commenced practice as a solicitor with Kensington Swan in 1988. In 1990 Justice McQueen completed a Master of Laws degree at the University of Chicago in 1991. 

On her return to New Zealand in 1992, Justice McQueen took up a role as solicitor at Chapman Tripp in Wellington, practising in commercial, corporate and public litigation.

She joined the partnership at Chapman Tripp in 1997. Justice McQueen retired from the partnership in 2005 and remained as a consultant with Chapman Tripp until 2015.

In 2016, Justice McQueen joined Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission as a Commissioner, and in 2019 was appointed Tumu Whakarae Tuarua, Deputy President.  She spent 11 months as Acting President of the Law Commission over 2019 and 2020. Justice McQueen completed her term at the Law Commission in April 2022.

The appointments of Justice Simon France and Justice McQueen will take effect from 26 August 2022.  Justice McQueen will sit in Wellington.