Professor Paul Rishworth made a QC

11 June 2014
Professor Paul Rishworth made a QC
Professor Paul Rishworth

The former Dean of the Auckland Law School, Professor Paul Rishworth, has been appointed to the rank of Queen's Counsel. It is extremely rare for an academic lawyer to be appointed a QC and a great personal honour.

The Attorney-General, the Honourable Christopher Finlayson QC, noted, “The Queen’s Counsel rank recognizes independent advocates who have excelled at the highest level of law.” He said that Paul Rishworth "has been appointed under the Royal prerogative in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the law. This follows last year’s appointment of his colleague Peter Watts QC and confirms the University of Auckland’s reputation as a centre of excellence for public law.”

Professor Rishworth joined the Faculty of Law in 1987. His  research interests are in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law, and South Pacific legal studies. His work on the New Zealand Bill of Rights has been widely cited by peers, practitioners and judges. He has worked in New Zealand and overseas as a consultant and adviser for government agencies and groups, including the Human Rights Commission, on a wide variety of constitutional, administrative law and human rights issues. He remains involved in the litigation of civil rights issues in the higher courts and in community organisations.

Paul Rishworth has chaired the New Zealand Law Society's Law Reform Committee since 2005. He was Dean of the Auckland Law School from 2005  to 2010 and is now the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice, one of the Faculty of Law's research centres. He is also the Attorney-General of the Pitcairn Islands.

Professor Rishworth is a graduate of the Auckland Law School. Five of this year’s 13 other new QCs are also Auckland Law School alumni–  Russell Bartlett, Stephen Bonnar, Marie Dyhrberg, Antonia Fisher, and Paul Wicks.