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Appointment of Judge - John McGrath QC

Appointment of Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal - John McGrath QC -Margaret Wilson

The Attorney-General, Hon Margaret Wilson, announced today the appointment of John McGrath QC as a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Since 1989, Justice McGrath has held the position of Solicitor-General for New Zealand.

During that time, he was responsible for the review and subsequent reorganisation of the Crown Law Office, ensuring the development of legal expertise within a specialist team structure.

Justice McGrath represented the Government in a number of leading cases in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council in the areas of taxation, Treaty of Waitangi jurisprudence, public interest immunity, contempt of Court and in the scope and development of judicial review.

In addition to providing legal advice to the Government on a day-to-day basis, Justice McGrath, as Solicitor-General, was also responsible for the research and development of a number of significant policy papers including the reform of the judicial appointments process and a consideration of an alternate appeal structure, following the abolition of the Privy Council.

During his time in office as Solicitor-General, Justice McGrath has served under a number of Attorney-Generals.

One feature of his time in office has been his ability to maintain and strengthen the constitutional role of Solicitor-General as an independent law officer and principal legal adviser to the government.

Prior to his appointment as Solicitor-General, Justice McGrath was a partner in the private law firm Buddle Findlay.

He became a barrister sole in 1984 and shortly thereafter was appointed Queen's Counsel.

Between 1986 and 1989, Justice McGrath was Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington and in 1992 he was awarded an honorary LL.D by that University.

Justice McGrath will be sworn in on 18 August 2000.

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