Appointment of the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse - Home Affairs Contents

Appendix 2: CV of Hon Justice Lowell Goddard


Justice Lowell Goddard is a serving Judge of the High Court of New Zealand and a highly respected member of the judiciary who has been at the forefront of criminal law and procedure.

Graduating with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1974 she was admitted to the Bar in 1975. In 1977 she commenced practice as a barrister and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1988.

In her earlier years of practice as a barrister she worked as a member of the steering committee which helped establish the HELP Clinic for sexual abuse victims (assisting Police to establish a better environment for and approach to the examination and interviewing of victims of sexual abuse); as a member of the Race Relations Conciliators advisory committee on youth and law; as a participant in the youth advocacy pilot for children and young people; as a board member of Odyssey House for drug dependency; and as a member of the department of Social Welfare's children-in-care review panel.

She was appointed Deputy Solicitor-General for New Zealand in 1992 and then to the High Court bench in December 1995. She has also sat as a member of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal.

In 2007 she was appointed Chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the first New Zealand woman to hold the position. Whilst she was Chair the authority released a report on the outcome of its inquiry into Police handling of child abuse cases (begun in August 2009).

Through her work at the IPCA Justice Goddard was elected as an independent expert to the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, which is a human rights body with international oversight of places of custody and detention.

In June 2014 she was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to law.

Personal Life

Born 25 November 1948 in Auckland, New Zealand she is married to Christopher John Hodson QC and has three step-children and one daughter from her first marriage.

Her interests are gardening, her family and grandchildren, and thoroughbred racing, breeding and eventing. She is a supporter of SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Amnesty International. Justice Goddard is also on the Grants Committee of the CatWalk Trust for spinal cord injury research and was on the board of trustees for Idea Services (formerly the Intellectually Handicapped Children's Society).

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Prepared 13 February 2015