Christina Inglis

Inducted 2019
Marsden Years: 1970 – 1980 (Primers – Form 5/Year 11)
This award recognises Christina’s contribution to the law and judiciary, particularly in the areas of employment and human rights.  

Coming from a legal family it was not a surprise that Christina was attracted to the law as a profession. She completed an LLM(Hons) at Victoria University, and a MA(Hons) at Canterbury University. Her experience in the law is wide although she has a primary focus on litigation, public law and employment law.  Christina served as a Crown Counsel and led the Crown Law Human Rights Team. She has also sat on the Advisory Board of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law and Practice. In 2011 Christina was appointed to the Employment Court and became the Court’s first female Chief Judge in 2017. 

As Chief Judge Christina has drawn particular attention to issues relating to access to justice, the impact of changing social norms and the balancing of rights and interests in the employment relationship. She has also done much to highlight the challenges and opportunities thrown up by new digital technologies and social media, the costs of the litigation process and the balancing out of such processes for all parties.

At a recent conference she said: 

“What, for example, of people (employees and employers) who are not in poverty but who still cannot afford the high fees which inevitably accumulate when pursuing or responding to employment disputes to mediation and beyond? And what of other potential barriers, including the spectre of name publication, information deficits, vulnerability, and other non-financial impediments?”[i]  

This reflects Christina’s understanding of the need to ensure that employment law keeps pace with societal change, is accessible to all, and her own sense of social justice.