R12 The formal requirements for appointment as a judge in the New Zealand trial and appellate courts should remain as set out in the District Courts Act 1947, the Judicature Act 1908 and the Supreme Court Act 2003.
R13 The nomination for the Office of Chief Justice of New Zealand should continue to be made by the Prime Minister, and this should be provided for in new courts legislation.
R14 The Attorney-General should continue to recommend the appointment of all District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judges.
R15 The Attorney-General should be required by statute to publish, in written form and on the Courts of New Zealand website, the process he or she will follow in soliciting and advancing nominations for judicial appointment.
R16 There should be additional statutory criteria for appointment as a judge as follows:
(a) the person to be appointed a judge must be selected by the Attorney-General on merit, having regard to that person’s –
- personal qualities (including integrity, sound judgment, and objectivity);
- legal abilities (including relevant expertise and experience and appropriate knowledge of the law and its underlying principles);
- social awareness of and sensitivities to tikanga Māori; and
- social awareness of and sensitivities to the other diverse communities in New Zealand; and
(b) regard must be given to the desirability of the judiciary reflecting gender, cultural and ethnic diversity.
R17 Before making an appointment, whether “first instance” or an elevation to a higher court, the Attorney-General should be required by statute to consult:
- the Chief Justice, in the case of an appointment to the Higher Courts, and the Chief District Court Judge, in the case of appointment to the District Courts;
- the Head of Bench of the court to which the appointment will be made;
- the Solicitor-General;
- the President of the New Zealand Law Society;
- the President of the New Zealand Bar Association; and
- such other persons as he or she considers to be appropriate.