New Zealand Law Society - Human rights lawyer gets specials ticket into Parliament

Human rights lawyer gets specials ticket into Parliament

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Photo of Golriz Ghahraman

Human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman has been confirmed as a member of the new Parliament following the release of 446,287 special votes at the weekend.

The Auckland-based barrister sole is the first-ever refugee to become an MP in New Zealand.

The Green Party had seven candidates elected on election night, with the Iranian-born Ghahraman eighth on the list. She had been elevated from 15th on the party’s provisional list earlier this year, to eighth due partly due to internal party issues.

Six current and former lawyers had already been elected to the Beehive for the first time, joining several former lawyers such as Winston Peters, Christopher Finlayson and Amy Adams.

The November edition of LawTalk will include an in-depth profile of Ms Ghahraman, who has worked as a prosecutor and defence lawyer at United Nations tribunals for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Cambodia. 

The special votes also gave a place in Parliament to Labour’s Angie Warren-Clark. Ms Warren-Clark, who has worked in Bay of Plenty for over 10 years in the field of domestic violence, was admitted to the Bar in 1998 but was a non-practising lawyer before the campaign started.