William Young (judge)

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For other judges of this name, see William Young (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Sir William Young
President of the Court of Appeal
In office
Preceded by Sir Noel Anderson
Succeeded by Mark O'Regan[1]
Personal details
Born (1952-04-14) 14 April 1952 (age 63)
Spouse(s) Susan Mary Young[2]

Sir William Gillow Gibbes Austen Young, KNZM QC (born 14 April 1952) is a Supreme Court Judge, and former President of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson in June 2010, taking effect from 1 July.[3]

Education and early career[edit]

Young was educated at Christ's College (secondary school) in Christchurch, University of Canterbury (LLB (Hons)) and University of Cambridge (PhD) in the UK. After obtaining his PhD, Young worked in the Christchurch law firm R A Young Hunter & Co, before moving to the independent bar to become a barrister sole in 1988. Young was made a Queen's Counsel in 1991 and acted in several high-profile cases, including the Winebox Inquiry of the 1990s.


Young was appointed a High Court Judge in Christchurch in 1997, a Court of Appeal Judge when the Supreme Court was created in 2004, and to the position of President in January 2006.[4] Young was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court with effect from 1 July 2010.[5] Young in R v Wanhalla described model jury directions in a criminal trial on the standard of proof required.

He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM) in June 2007, and knighted in August 2009 when the new National Government reinstated knighthoods.[6]

Non-judicial involvement[edit]

While a barrister, Young was involved with the New Zealand Law Society educational programme and, since appointment to the bench, with the Institute of Judicial Studies, being the primary author of its Criminal Jury Trials Bench Book. He wrote "Summing Up to Juries - What Jury Research says about Current Rules and Practice" [2003] Crim LR 665 and co-authored a chapter in Witness Testimony: Psychological, Investigative and Evidential Perspectives (Oxford University Press 26 October 2006).[7]

Styles and Honours[edit]

  • Dr William Young (1978–1991)
  • Dr William Young QC (1991–1997)
  • The Hon. Justice William Young QC (1997–2007)
  • The Hon. Justice William Young DCNZM QC (2007–2009)
  • The Hon. Justice Sir William Young KNZM QC (2009–present)


  1. ^ Chris Finlayson (9 June 2010). "New Supreme Court judge and Court of Appeal President announced". Beehive. 
  2. ^ kiwisfirst.co.nz
  3. ^ "New Supreme Court judge appointed". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Judges of the Court of Appeal". Courts of New Zealand. Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  5. ^ "The Judges of the Supreme Court" ""Courts of New Zealand."" Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  6. ^ Eames, David (1 August 2009). "Arise Sir Russell - 72 accept revived knighthoods". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "2009 Conference Presenters" AMINZ Inc. Retrieved 2010-09-22