New Zealand Law Society - Honorary VUW doctorate for Sir Terence Arnold QC

Honorary VUW doctorate for Sir Terence Arnold QC

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Former Supreme Court judge Sir Terence Arnold QC will receive an honorary doctorate at a Victoria University of Wellington graduation ceremony on 16 May 2018.

Victoria University Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith says the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws is an acknowledgement of Sir Terence’s outstanding leadership as a senior judge and former Solicitor-General, as well as his career in private practice and as a legal educator.

“Sir Terence is one of New Zealand’s foremost jurists, sitting on numerous high-profile cases as a judge and leading the Crown Law Office as Solicitor-General from 2000 to 2006. This was a period of profound change for New Zealand’s judicial system, with Sir Terence helping advise on the establishment of the Supreme Court to replace London’s Privy Council as New Zealand’s final appellate court.

“Sir Terence’s service as a judge followed a successful career as a leading law firm partner and as a barrister, as well as his close involvement in establishing skills-based training courses for young litigators.

“Victoria University is proud to celebrate its connection with Sir Terence, and his outstanding contribution to the legal profession.”

Sir Terence  continues to sit as an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court and has been appointed, along with Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, to conduct an inquiry into Operation Burnham, an operation in Afghanistan in 2010 involving the New Zealand SAS where civilians were allegedly killed.

Sir Terence graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Classical Greek (1968) and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (1970). He was subsequently awarded a Master of Laws in 1972 and lectured at Victoria University’s Faculty of Law before completing a Master of Laws in Criminal Justice from New York University and lecturing for several years in Canada.

On returning to New Zealand, Sir Terence re-joined the Faculty of Law at Victoria University.  He then moved to legal firm Chapman Tripp and rose to become a partner, before joining the bar in 1994 and being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997. After serving as Solicitor-General from 2000 to 2006, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal before being appointed to the Supreme Court in 2013. He sat on a number of high-profile cases in the Supreme Court before retiring in 2017.