Una Jagose KC

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Last Year – 3

Una Jagose KC 1

As Solicitor General, is not only head of Crown Law’s 180 staff but also the ‘‘professional head’’ of more than 800 lawyers employed by the government’s various departments, ministries and agencies she has a power role both from a legislative and a legal leadership perspective a role she told barristers at Bankside Chambers that was both ‘a privilege and a burden’. 

She has previously pointed out that, as Solicitor-general, she is both the Government’s main adviser over any legal disputes involving the Crown, and the senior advocate for the Government.

Unquestionably one of the major burdens she has had to carry has been the Crown’s role in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and the almost 50 years’ of incompetence and coverups that have marked the treatment of inmates at the psychiatric hospital.  Prior investigations into Lake Alice involving the use of shock treatment on children and its alleged criminality involved Crown Law’s suppression of evidence supporting survivors’ testimony.

After inquiries with Crown Law, RNZ can reveal a contingent liability of $132 million was identified in the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 1999, when Jenny Shipley\’s National-led government was in power.

But as if the Abuse in Care apology and criticisms are not enough, the Solicitor General has also found herself being involved in the miscarriage of justice claims involving falsely imprisoned Alan Hall, jailed for 19 years for a 1985 murder he never committed. 

Una Jagose had already held a position of considerable power as acting head of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). She had previously been Deputy Solicitor, Crown Legal Risk at Crown Law for two years before moving to the GCSB role.

Earlier, she worked for Crown Law for over a decade and had also been chief legal advisor at the Ministry of Fisheries.

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