Calling on her wild card, Home Secretary Theresa May has, after speaking with survivors and others, chosen to appoint Justice Lowell Goddard to lead the nation’s inquiry into child abuse.

Justice Goddard is a female High Court judge in new Zealand, and an expert on criminal law and procedure in New Zealand. She is believed to be the first Maori woman to serve as a High Court judge.  Justice Goddard has some experience in the field of child abuse. She was appointed chair of New Zealand’s Independent Police Conduct Authority and was in the post when the authority released a report on the outcome of its inquiry into police handling of child abuse cases. As a barrister, Justice Goddard also worked as a member of the steering committee which helped to establish the HELP Clinic, a facility for victims of sexual abuse.

Theresa May also confirmed that the current panel would be dissolved and a new Statutory Inquiry would be created. She has promised to publish the selection guidelines for both Chair and panel positions on the GOV.UK website shortly. May also invited Professor Jay to reapply to sit on the new panel and confirmed that Ben Emmerson QC would continue on as the Inquiry’s legal counsel.

Justice Lowell Goddard