News

RMLA congratulates new Supreme Court Judge

Justice Joseph Victor Williams has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court

An appointment to the Supreme Court was required after current Supreme Court judge Justice Sir William Young was named to chair the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the attack on the Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019.

Justice Williams graduated with an LLB from Victoria University in 1986 and joined the faculty as a junior lecturer in law. He graduated with an LLM (Hons) from the University of British Columbia in 1988.

In 1988 he joined Kensington Swan, establishing the first unit specialising in Māori issues in a major New Zealand law firm and developing a large environmental practice. He became a partner at Kensington Swan in 1992, leaving in 1994 to co‑found Walters Williams & Co in Auckland and Wellington.

In 1999 Justice Williams was appointed Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court. The following year, he was appointed acting Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal and was permanently appointed in 2004.

He was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in 2008 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2018.

Justice Williams’ tribal affiliations are Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitaha, Tapuika).

Read a letter congratulating Justice Williams on his appointment from RMLA president Rachel Devine.