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Appointment of Solicitor-General

Hon Dr Michael Cullen

7 August 2006 Media Statement

Appointment of Solicitor-General

Dr David Collins QC has been appointed Solicitor-General and chief executive of the Crown Law Office, Attorney-General, Dr Michael Cullen, announced today.

The Solicitor-General is the government's chief legal adviser, and is also chief advocate for the government in the courts, in particular the Supreme Court. As a law officer the Solicitor-General acts independently in relation to criminal trial prosecutions and related matters, and public law issues.

Dr David Collins was appointed QC in 2000. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer, both as defence counsel and since 2000 as prosecutor. This has included acting as counsel in complex trials with regular appearances in all Courts, including seven Privy Council appearances. He has specialised in health law and has appeared in relation to this and other matters.

He is currently a member of the Wellington Crown Prosecution Panel, Chair of the ACC, Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Panel, and an Honorary Fellow of the Victoria University Law School. He was a member of the Board of Sport and Recreation New Zealand from 2002 until this year, and a trustee of the Todd Foundation from 2003 to 2005. Dr Collins was also President of the Wellington District Law Society in 2001.

"Dr Collins is an industrious and successful barrister who has made valuable contributions to the profession through the Law Society, and also in public life. His experiences in the courts, in professional leadership and on the boards of Crown agencies are directly relevant to the Solicitor-General and Chief Executive role," Dr Cullen said.

His appointment follows the resignation of Terence Arnold QC who became a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal in May.

The Solicitor-General is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Attorney-General. The State Services Commissioner was asked to manage the recruitment process in order to ensure a merit-based and professional process.

Dr Collins’ appointment will take effect on 1 September 2006.

Dr David Collins QC
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