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Judge on sick leave after incident

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/10/2016

A district court judge is on sick leave after a complaint was made to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner after the judge allegedly struck a lawyer with a crutch at a party.

The incident happened at a fundraiser for a charity at the Northern Club in Auckland attended by the legal community on September 30.

The judge, who was on crutches after a hip operation, allegedly used a crutch to strike the lawyer, the NZ Herald reports.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief District Court Judge said the chief judge was aware of a recent complaint made to the commissioner.

"The integrity of the commissioner 's process for dealing with complaints must be respected, therefore it is inappropriate to comment on or interfere in any way in that independent process. That independence is its strength.

"The judge in question has been on sick leave since the complaint came to the attention of the chief judge. The chief judge will be making no further comment."

The lawyer who was struck did not complain and told Radio NZ he did not support the complaint, which he had seen. He said the incident was a "minor fracas".

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