Special Court Sitting for Retiring JPs

Chief District Court Judge, Jan-Marie Doogue, convened a Special Sitting of the Auckland District Court this afternoon to thank and farewell 6 retiring Judicial Justices of the Peace.

Today’s Special Sitting in session

The six Justices have between them more than 130 years’ service on the Bench sitting in Auckland Courts and Gill Court, Mark Sinclair, Angela Siu, Eddie Stark, Earle Mead and Allan Spence, as well as the late Cecil Lochan, were today recognised for their contributions to the judicial system and to their local communities.

The Ministry of Justice, Police and lawyers were represented, and spoke, at the ceremony.

Judge Doogue, thanking the Justices, said, “…the courts rely heavily on Judicial Justices of the Peace: without you we would struggle with what is Australasia’s busiest court. More importantly, you are often the first interaction that defendants have with the judicial system”. “And aside from Court duties”, Judge Doogue continued, “you also provide other services, all of which you fit in with personal, family and business commitments – we are indebted to you all for your invaluable service”.

President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, Sherryl Wilson thanked the Chief District Court Judge for today’s Special Sitting and her support and dignity when dealing with Judicial Justices. “An appreciation also to those retiring today, as well as our thanks to their families, and it’s good to see family members here to celebrate with us”.

Judges and Justices at today’s Special Sitting

Mark Sinclair worked in 8 different courts in the Auckland region, and recalls one depositions hearing that went on for 14 months.

Angela Siu, a Judicial JP for 13 years and a petite woman, found herself feeling tall when she sat on the bench and people physically looked up to her!

Cecil Lochan was also President of the Auckland Multicultural Society, and a founding member of its Auckland Regional Council.

Eddie Stark was on the Council of the Auckland JP Association, and served as its President.

Allan Spence was also an Auckland JP Association President, as well as President of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Association.

President Sherryl Wilson, Eddie Stark, Allan Spence, Earle Mead, Mark Sinclair, Gill Court and Mrs Lochan

Who was the Justice, according to a story told after today’s ceremony, that failed to extinguish his pipe before going into Court, stuffing it in a pocket?  Proceedings got underway but were interrupted when the police prosecutor drew attention to smoke in the Courtroom, and pointedly looking towards the Justices said “…and I think it’s coming from the Bench!”


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