Why you should listen
From working behind the scenes alongside top judges and arguing cases before them in New Zealand, to sitting on the bench as a criminal magistrate and re-writing drug sentencing laws in the Seychelles, to training young lawyers in courtroom ethics and introducing Australian teenagers to the constitutional importance of an independent judiciary: Jessica Kerr has been fascinated by the role of judges in society for over a decade, and increasingly concerned by the shroud of mystery that surrounds them.
Kerr studied, practiced and taught law in her native New Zealand before spending a seminal year in her mid-twenties as a Fulbright scholar in the US, obtaining an LLM from Yale Law School and volunteering as a public defender in New Orleans. She then took an even greater leap into the unknown, arriving solo with a backpack in the Seychelles for what would prove to be five years of struggle, sometimes successful, to develop access to justice and healthy constitutional processes in a tiny island state.
She is now a mother of two and a PhD candidate and teacher at the UWA Law School in Western Australia, researching the gaps in Commonwealth writing and thinking about judges and why we (should) trust them.