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Judith and Christopher’s great leap backwards

Justice Spokesperson
15 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Judith and Christopher’s great leap backwards

Labour is condemning the Government's decision to return to the title of QCs, as the necessary legislation is read in Parliament this afternoon for a third and final time.

"This is a backward-looking move and is bad for New Zealanders for a number of reasons,” says Labour's Shadow Attorney-General Charles Chauvel.

"First of all, the title is archaic. Australia, with which we are trying to harmonise, including in the market for legal services, has largely dispensed with it. National's move today is likely to reinforce unfounded prejudices that New Zealand prefers nostalgia over progress.

"Secondly, restricting the appointment of Queen's Counsel to lawyers practising only at the bar will reduce the diversity of our senior legal profession. This bill will do nothing to improve that, and is likely to make it much worse.

"Thirdly, the current open appointments process that exists for Senior Counsel is done away with. Transparency matters. To see the Government doing away with it in a public appointments process is very disappointing.

"At least a few New Zealanders - the small number of barristers who will profit from this move - will now be able to look forward to a brighter future. Everyone else will just have to hurry up and wait,” says Charles Chauvel.

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