Attorney General David Parker has announced the appointment round for Queen’s Counsel in 2019 but said that there would be fewer successful applicants.
Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the agreement of the Chief Justice.
The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint Queen’s Counsel in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the law in fields other than advocacy.
Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann and Attorney-General David Parker have issued updated Guidelines for Candidates this year after consulting with the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association.
The guidelines now include the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice.
Mr Parker said that in recommending barristers to take silk, he wanted to have a good understanding of each applicant’s personal contribution to improving access to justice for those who need it.
“It will be an important factor in my decisions,” he said.
Less Successful Applicants
He said that he expected fewer successful applicants than in recent years.
“There are over 100 practicing QCs. I want to make sure that we reserve the rank for those who are at the very top of their game, not just in the quality of their legal work but also in their relationships with others, and in their contribution to the profession. I also want to ensure the rank in New Zealand represents the diversity of our profession, both regionally and in their practice areas,” Mr Parker said.
The Guidelines (and an application form) are available at www.crownlaw.govt.nz. Applications open today (August 1, 2019) and must be sent to Solicitor-General Una Jagose QC no later than August 30, 2019.
Una Jagose will consult with the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association regarding the candidates.
It is expected appointments will be made in November 2019.
Photo: Attorney General David Parker