Gloriavale asks Judge to stand down in Girls’ Employment Case

The Gloriavale Ex-Members Girls’ Employment case against Gloriavale (and the Govt inaction), has taken another surprising twist.

This past month, Gloriavale defendants requested that Chief Judge Christina Inglis NOT be the judge for the upcoming case, because she was the judge for the Boys’ Employment case earlier this year. They stated there would be an “apparent bias”, which might impact on the upcoming case. It’s a bold thing for the Gloriavale defendants to request a judge stands down because of an “apparent bias”!

Yesterday the judge released her Interlocutory judgement and made it public. She has refused to “recuse” herself (voluntarily stand down) from the upcoming Pilgrim v Attorney General Employment court hearing (starting 29 August 2022).  Judge Inglis wrote:

The number of factual findings and their significance, when viewed in context, do not warrant recusal. Nor do I accept that there is an appreciable risk of extraneous information tainting the Pilgrim judgment, or that irrelevant and prejudicial evidence given during the Courage proceeding justifies recusal in the circumstance.

In the application received by Gloriavale to recuse the judge, the Attorney General lawyers (The Crown) said they supported Judge Inglis’ right to remain as the judge. This is an extremely important decision.

Keep in mind that these cases have been brought to court by people who have left Gloriavale and alleged they were employees, and not volunteers. The Attorney General is the first defendant (because leavers maintain the Govt did a poor job in two investigations and should have been able to make a correct judgement). The second defendants are Gloriavale themselves, who are accused of not giving their people employment protections.

I have a feeling Chief Judge Inglis might be the judge who will go down in infamy as the person in power who finally heard and understood the power and control issues that exist at Gloriavale. She was able to balance the relevant information in Courage v Attorney General and she ruled that the plaintiffs had been involved in child, forced labour. Read that judgement here.

There are a lot of people who are looking ahead to the Girls’ Court Case to see if it will improve life for those still inside and to right past wrongs for those who have left.

Read more in the Herald article