Advocacy in the coronial jurisdiction (CPD 1.5 hr)
Counsel appearing at coronial inquests require a particular set of advocacy skills. Join our webinar chair Chris Gudsell KC and presenters, Coroner Brigitte Windley, Coroner Marcus Elliott and barristers David Boldt and Nikki Pender as they outline some key facets of a coronial inquiry and the best way to advocate in this jurisdiction.
Learning objectives for this presentation may include:
- Advocacy in an inquisitorial context, with specific focus on the coronial jurisdiction
- The role of advocates at each procedural stage of a coronial investigation
- Potential situations a client might face in the coronial jurisdiction and the most effective type/style of advocacy in each situation
- Role of counsel assisting
- Other special features of a coronial proceeding, including cultural considerations, dealings with media and a general introduction to therapeutic jurisprudence
Chris Gudsell KC (Chair)
Chris Gudsell KC has extensive experience in the coronial jurisdiction as counsel assisting the coroner. He was a Crown Prosecutor in Hamilton between 1989 and 1995. He joined the independent Bar in 1995 and, since that time, has been involved in a wide range of litigation, predominantly in the civil and commercial areas. Chris was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2007.
Chris is also the co-Chair of the Bar Association’s Education Committee. He has been involved in advocacy training for many years and has participated in courses in Australia, Malaysia and in UK at the highly respected Keble Course at Oxford.
Coroner Marcus Elliott
Marcus Elliott is a coroner based in Christchurch. Before that he was a barrister at Canterbury Chambers practising in civil litigation and also working as a Crown prosecutor. He was counsel assisting the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission and a New Zealand Law Society Standards Committee member. He was appointed a coroner in 2015.
Coroner Brigitte Windley
Coroner Brigitte Windley was appointed in 2015 and spent her first year in Dunedin before returning to Wellington. Coroner Windley has led coronial inquiries into a wide range of complex cases with high public and media interest, including deaths involving quad bikes, the 2018 fatal bus crash on Mt Ruapehu, fatalities in the context of alleged murder and insanity pleas, and medication and iatrogenic related deaths. She is currently responsible for the coronial inquiry into the 51 deaths related to the 15 March 2019 Christchurch mosques attack.
Coroner Windley was admitted to the bar in 1995 and went on to gain a Master of Laws in 2010. She has held a variety of legal and investigative roles in her career including fraud investigator, investigator for the Privacy Commissioner, arbitrator of ACC reviews, and law clerking in large US law firms in commercial and litigation practice areas. Coroner Windley went on to develop a love for the criminal law being a Legal Adviser with NZ Police for nine years, and was seconded to Crown Law and then to the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security prior to appointment. She believes the role of coroner uniquely allows for a blend of investigation and court skills and processes in an area of everyday life that affects all of us, but which holds the promise of making a difference by reducing preventable death.
David Boldt is a Wellington barrister with an extensive background in criminal and public law. He appears for both the prosecution and the defence in criminal cases, and is a particularly experienced appellate lawyer. David is regularly engaged as counsel to assist the Coroner, and has particular expertise in cases where the criminal and coronial jurisdictions intersect.
Nikki is a barrister at Kate Sheppard Chambers and has 30 years experience representing private sector clients and regulatory agencies in civil, competition, disciplinary and public law matters. Since 2007, Nikki has regularly appeared at coronial inquests as counsel representing families of the deceased, including Karl Kuchenbecker, Debbie Ashton, Stephen Dudley, Christie Marceau and Nicole Tuxford. She was recently appointed counsel for some of the families in the inquest into the Christchurch Masjidian attacks.
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