News Item

November 2018

2018 NZLF Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address - Judge Doogue suggests disadvantage is a significant factor behind offending

“Generations of Disadvantage: a view from the District Court Bench” was the title of this year’s NZLF Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address, delivered by Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue on 15th October in Dunedin.

In her address, Judge Doogue refers to disadvantage as “the circumstances that set people up to make bad choices, and once they have taken a wrong turn, restrict their ability to change direction.” She says “those circumstances range from material, cultural and spiritual poverty to mental impairment and illness, substance abuse and addiction, and exposure to sexual and family violence.”

Judge Doogue believes that change is needed and that Judges “have a valuable contribution to make in breaking or disrupting the trajectory of disadvantage, and in restoring people’s lives”. She says “in many instances, intervention once a case reaches court, is too late. A comprehensive, multi-faceted response is needed, and early on.”

Read 2018 Ethel Benjamin Address by Judge Doogue
Aotearoa NZ Assn of Social Workers response to Judge Doogue’s address

A link to the YouTube version of the address will be posted when it’s available.

The Law Foundation is funding $6,900 for this address