High Court Judges appointed

  • Margaret Wilson

The Attorney-General, Margaret Wilson, today announced the appointments of Ellen France and Paul Robert Heath as Judges of the High Court.

Ms France graduated from Auckland University in 1981 and completed her Masters at Queen’s University in Ontario in 1983. She also completed a Senior Managers in Government Course at the JFK Business School, Harvard University.

Throughout her career, Ms France specialised in public law, working initially for the Department of Justice and then Crown Law Office. In 1998, Ms France was appointed Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law).

In addition to undertaking litigation on behalf of the Crown, Ms France is a member of the Legislation Advisory Committee. She was the secretary to the Officials Committee on Constitutional Law Reform and the Bill of Rights Monitoring Group. She also acted as a consultant for the Law Commission for England and Wales on the reform of United Kingdom adoption legislation.

Mr Heath was educated in Auckland at Pakuranga College and Auckland University. He graduated from Auckland University in 1978.

Mr Heath joined the Hamilton firm of Stace Haymond Grace & Partners and became a partner in 1983. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1998 when he moved to the Bar.

Mr Heath is particularly experienced in company and insolvency law, and was appointed a part-time commissioner of the New Zealand Law Commission in 1999. In addition, Mr Heath was a member of the Company Law Monitoring Group (a Ministerial working group), Joint Committee on Insolvency Law (established by the New Zealand Law Society and Institute of Chartered Accountants) and Convener of the New Zealand Law Society’s Commercial and Business Law Committee.

The new Judges will sit in Wellington and Auckland respectively.