An appointment round for Queen’s Counsel will take place in 2013, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Amendments to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 last year reinstated the rank of Queen’s Counsel, and restored the restriction on eligibility to lawyers practicing as barristers sole in order to protect the independence of the role.
Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint Queen’s Counsel in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the law in fields other than advocacy.
The Attorney-General and the Chief Justice have issued guidelines for candidates. The guidelines and application form are available at www.crownlaw.govt.nz, and set out the criteria for appointment and other information about the appointment process.
The regulations set a fee of $500 for applicants, reflecting the costs of the appointment process.
Applications for appointment as Queen’s Counsel open on 1 February 2013. Applications, using the application form, should be sent to the Solicitor-General no later than 1 March 2013.
It is expected appointments will be made by mid-April.