Appointment round set for Queen’s Counsel

There will be an appointment round for Queen’s Counsel in 2019 but it is expected to see fewer successful applicants than in recent years, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.

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.

“In recommending barristers to take silk I want 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,” David Parker said.

He said he expected fewer successful applicants than in recent years.

“There are over 100 practicing QCs.  I want to make sure 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.”

The Guidelines (and an application form) are available at www.crownlaw.govt.nz. Applications open on 1 August 2019 and must be sent to Solicitor‑General Una Jagose QC no later than 30 August 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.