A Chat with Sir Geoffrey Palmer
Sir Geoffrey Palmer KCMG AC QC PC is a barrister, former professor of law, former Law Commissioner, author and past politician, who served as the 33rd Prime Minister of New Zealand. When he was Minister of Justice from 1984 to 1989, he was responsible for significant reforms to our legal and constitutional framework, including the Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, Imperial Laws Application Act, and the State Sector Act.
In an interview with Wellington Barrister, Debra Angus, Sir Geoffrey will talk about his career, the reforms he oversaw, and give his views on where our legal system is headed in the light of recent developments.
This event is part of our “Chat with…” webinar series
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer KCMG, AC, QC
Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC was admitted as a solicitor in 1965 and to the bar in 1966. He practised in Wellington with O'Flynn and Christie before taking up a British Commonwealth Fellowship to the University of Chicago where he graduated JD cum laude in 1967. He was a law professor in the United States and New Zealand for some years before entering politics as the MP for Christchurch Central in 1979. In Parliament he held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Leader of the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister. He was Minister for the Environment 1987-1990.
On leaving politics in 1990, Sir Geoffrey was a law professor at the University of Iowa and the Victoria University of Wellington. In 1994 he became a foundation partner of Chen & Palmer Public Law Specialists where he remained until 2005, when he was appointed President of the Law Commission, a position he occupied until 2010. During that period, he also chaired the Legislation Advisory Committee. Sir Geoffrey has a list of more than 1105 publications in legal periodicals and chapters in books and is the author or co-author of twelve books. He continues to publish regularly in law journals and teaches at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School.
Debra Angus is now a barrister and has over 20 years’ experience working at the heart of parliamentary democracies, specialising in public law and democratic governance. She is an expert adviser on public, constitutional, electoral and parliamentary law and procedure, public finance management and public sector oversight, governance and funding.
A former Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives, legal adviser to Parliament’s Privileges Committee, the Regulations Review Committee, Debra has also advised select committees on legislative scrutiny, inquiries and petitions.
Debra also works as an independent consultant with international organisations to build capability and strengthen developing democracies in effective governance, rule of law and public finance management projects.
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