Chief Justice welcomes Court of Appeal and High Court appointments

The Chief Justice welcomes the Attorney General’s announcement today of the appointments of The Honourable Justice Simon France as a Judge of the Court of Appeal, and Helen McQueen, former Deputy President of the Law Commission, as a Judge of the High Court.

Speaking today, the Chief Justice said that the appointment of the Honourable Justice Simon France to the Court of Appeal reflects his excellence and expertise as a judge, while Justice Helen McQueen’s experience both in private practice and at Te Aka Matua o Te Ture Law Commission make her an exemplary appointment to the High Court.


Justice Simon France graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and worked briefly as a solicitor at Nicholson Gribbin before undertaking overseas study 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 team leader to the human rights team in 2002. Justice France was appointed a High Court judge in January 2005.

Justice Helen McQueen graduated with an LLB (Hons) in 1986 and a BA (Political Science) in 1987 from Victoria University of Wellington and commenced practice the following year as a solicitor with Kensington Swan. In 1990 Justice McQueen relocated to the United States where she completed a Master of Laws degree at the University of Chicago Law School in 1991.
On her return to New Zealand in 1992 Justice McQueen took up a role as a solicitor with Chapman Tripp in Wellington practising in commercial, corporate and public litigation. She joined the partnership of 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 2017 was appointed Tumu Whakarae Tuarua, Deputy President. She spent an 11-month period as Acting President of Te Aka Matua o Te Ture Law Commission in 2019/2020.

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

Helen Winkelmann
Chief Justice | Te Tumu Whakawā

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Alix Chapman
Senior Judicial Communications Advisor 

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