Sir Geoffrey Palmer KC

Sir Geoffrey Palmer KC 2

Eminence Gris

Last Year – 16

Sir Geoffrey Palmer KC 3

Although the ‘eminence gris’ of the New Zealand bar had slipped to 16th position last year from 9 the year earlier, the death of Her Majesty and the issues around New Zealand\’s constitutional status see us turn to his cast iron constitutional knowledge that appears to know no bounds places him front and centre of the debate over New Zealand’s shedding its status as what he calls a “disguised republic” into a true republic.

The constitutional expert, former PM and Law Commission Chair  is never short of his concisely expressed legal views on such matters

\”The process of decolonisation, or the shadow of it, is not yet quite complete in this country and I think you ought … to be seen to be in charge of your own system.\”

He says a referendum and a Royal Commission would likely be necessary before such a change could be made, but it should not be hurried. It\’s unclear, too, where public sentiment lies.

He was a law professor in the United States and New Zealand before entering New Zealand politics as the MP for Christchurch Central in 1979 and in Parliament he held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Leader of the House, Minister for the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister.

A founding partner of Chen & Palmer Public in 1994 where he remained until 2005 when he was appointed President of the Law Commission, a position he occupied until 2010.

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Sir Geoffrey Palmer KC 4

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