Monday, July 15, 2024

Court Martial Appeal Court trio of judges named

Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court.

The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the Chief High Court Judge to hear appeals from the Court Martial of New Zealand.

Colonel Craig Ruane is a Christchurch barrister with over forty years’ experience in the New Zealand Army, first in the Territorial Force Artillery, and later in Legal Services.

He deployed operationally to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), Middle East in 1996-1997.

He subsequently spent nine years as a Senior Crown Prosecutor with Christchurch Crown Solicitor’s office Raymond Donnelly, deploying for a time as a Prosecutor for the Serious Crimes Unit in Timor-Leste, where he prosecuted war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Colonel Ruane has been on the Courts Martial Panel of Counsel since 1984, frequently appearing before the Army, Navy and Air Force Courts Martial and the Court Martial Appeal Court. He is also the main counsel for the Director of Military Prosecutions.

Commander Robyn Loversidge has worked as a barrister and solicitor in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Since 2014 she has been a director of Pegasus Bay Law in Christchurch. 

Commander Loversidge has over 40 years’ experience in the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve, her service including a period attached to the Royal Navy in London and both technical and leadership roles in New Zealand. She has received a Chief of Navy Commendation for her work.

James Wilding KC has practised as a barrister sole since 1996 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018.  He has been the Convener of the Mental Health Review Tribunal since 2016, prior to which he spent 12 years as a District Inspector of Mental Health for Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast, conducting statutory inquiries into the care and treatment of compulsory patients. 

In 2011‑2012 he acted as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.  From 1993 to 1996 he was an infantry officer in the New Zealand Army (Territorial Force).

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