New Zealand Law Society - An interview with Christian Niyonsaba – enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court

An interview with Christian Niyonsaba – enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court

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Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m Christian, I play soccer (support Manchester United), was recently admitted to the roll of barristers and solicitors at the Auckland High Court, love a good coffee, and enjoy meeting new people and socialising with friends.

Christian Niyonsaba

What prompted you to study law?

Coming from central Africa, as I grew older I would learn of the various human rights issues that have plagued the region overtime as well as other nations facing similar circumstances. In prompting me to study law, firstly I wondered how law plays a role in aiming to eliminate the problems and secondly I was always curious as to how the laws are created and how domestic and international courts go about in applying the law.

How long have you lived in NZ and what are some of the things you like about living here?

I have lived in NZ for nearly 21 years. New Zealanders are friendly and helpful, NZ has a decent amount of sun and a lot of greenery and fresh air which makes the day better, traffic is not bad when compared to other countries, and stores and other spaces I visit are all within close proximity.

What area of law are you interested in?

Before university I had always been keen on and still seem to prefer administrative, criminal, international, refugee, and immigration law.

Though, once I got to university and started learning about private law areas such as contract, commercial, property, and corporate transactions, I then also found these areas interesting and not as mundane as I had prior thought they would be.

How was your Admission ceremony?

My admission ceremony was a fantastic occasion. The ceremonial procedure was something exciting and very new to me, the Auckland High Court building has its own unique sense of history that made me feel as though I was beginning a new journey, and the celebrations at the end concluded an eventful ceremony.

Why did you sign up for the Law Society mentoring programme and what are your expectations?

I do not know many lawyers so I signed up to the mentoring programme to connect with other legal personnel who can help/assist with various queries I come across.

What are your future career plans?

I hope to develop my legal knowledge overtime and undertake work in legal areas where I can confidently say I know these area of law quite well. By doing so, hopefully I can offer advice to persons in need of it and also help out within the wider community to bring about improvement and better conditions that can benefit all within New Zealand.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I have played soccer for the majority of my life. I also enjoy running and reading nonfiction. At the moment I am reading a few books written by Michelle Alexander, a writer and civil rights advocate based in the United States.

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