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Chief District Court Judge

Judge Jan-Marie Doogue is the Chief District Court Judge of New Zealand and was appointed to that position on 1 September 2011.

Judge Doogue was educated in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland where she attended Auckland University, gaining an LLB. She also was an Associate of the Trinity College of London (Speech and Drama), and acquired a Diploma in Mediation from Bond University in Queensland in 1994.

From 1980, she worked in Auckland law firms Holmden Horrocks, Cairns Slane, and Morrison Morpeth before becoming a Barrister Sole in 1992. Since 1994 she has been a District and Family Court Judge, a designated Family Violence Court Judge, a District Court Jury Trial Judge since 2007 and an Alternate Environment Court Judge from 2011.

Since her appointment to the bench, Judge Doogue has been actively involved in judicial administration and courts reform, including the efficient and fair operation of the Summary Criminal Courts. In 2011 she was appointed to the Law Commission Steering Committee on Alternative Pre-trial and Trial Processes. She was involved with implementation of a management model for the Family Court in Auckland, was Chair of the Committee responsible for the Family Court submission in response to the discussion paper review of the laws about guardianship, custody and access and was appointed to investigate the judicial interviewing of children in the German legal system.

In 2001/2 Judge Doogue was a New Zealand judicial representative to The Hague on the civil aspects of international child abduction. From 2003 to 2007 she was Chair of the Drafting Committee of a Global Treaty on Child Support at The Hague, and in 2007 was Vice President of the 21st Diplomatic Session of The Hague Private International Law Conference. In 2009 she was President of the Commission of The Hague Private International Law Conference (Child Support Convention).

Judge Doogue has presented papers to international conferences on issues such as child support and property relationships. She has had a particular interest in issues of family violence, presenting papers on psychological abuse and the response of the Family Court, and on domestic violence and sentencing.

Judge Doogue has been involved in working groups on judicial diversity and appointment to the District Court Bench, in judicial education seminars through the Institute of Judicial Studies, and working with Māori to identify tikanga-based counselling and mediation services for the Family Court.

Judge Doogue has a keen interest in languages and issues of culture. She is a fluent speaker of French and German, and continues to develop her te reo Māori. She is a collector of New Zealand contemporary paintings and has presented a paper in Dusseldorf, Germany on “Aotearoa: Art and Symbolism in Justice”. She likes to go skiing and fishing (when the opportunity is there), and enjoys music of most genres.


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