Former criminal barrister Davina Reid had her appeal for restoration of her name to the roll of barristers and solicitors was dismissed by the High Court.
Justice Press Release on Davina Reid –
Ms Davina Reid is a former criminal barrister who was struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand (the roll) in 2015 following conviction for having delivered contraband to a prisoner in contravention of the Corrections Act 2004. In April 2022, Ms Reid applied for the restoration of her name to the roll. The Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) declined her application. Ms Reid now appeals that decision to the High Court.
HELD: appeal dismissed.
An assessment into whether a person is fit and proper for the purposes of restoration to the roll is a forward-looking exercise. That exercise necessarily reflects the values of redemption and forgiveness.
When considering past convictions, the Court must simply determine whether the offending remains relevant. Notably, in this case, the Tribunal appropriately incorporated tikanga principles into its assessment.
Ms Reid’s conviction was for serious offending which affected the standing of the legal profession and constituted an abuse of professional privilege. However, despite the passage of more than 10 years since her offending, Ms Reid continues to demonstrate a serious lack of insight into her wrongdoing.
Before the Tribunal, Ms Reid attempted to downplay her misconduct, exhibited a preoccupation with self-interest, largely limited her expressions of regret to the damage she caused herself, and failed to show genuine remorse for those impacted both directly and indirectly by her offending. For these reasons, the Court cannot be satisfied that the conviction no longer remains relevant to Ms Reid’s present-day character.