James Johnston, Wellington barrister and solicitor, has been appointed an Acting District Court Judge with a jury warrant, following an announcement by attorney-general Christopher Finlayson QC late last week.
Johnston, who will be based in Wellington, will be involved in the Rangatahi Courts which aim to help young Māori and their whanau navigate their way through the justice system as part of the Youth Court framework.
Before becoming a commercial lawyer, Johnston was a litigator dealing with Treaty of Waitangi claims. He has also appeared in the District Court and High Court on a variety of criminal and Family Court matters. He is of Ngati Porou descent.
Johnston is the chairman of partners at Rainey Collins Lawyers, where he was made a partner in 1994 after joining the firm in 1989.
Judge Johnston will be sworn in on June 10 in Wellington.