The committee stage debate on the Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill was completed with Labour and other parties expressing strong opposition to the bill making a return to the title of Queen’s Counsel.
Labour MP Charles Chauvel said repealing his party’s move to the title of Senior Counsel was wrong especially as it came while the Government with the support of the Maori Party were undergoing a constitutional review.
It was also wrong that the QC title could only awarded to barristers sole unlike the Senior Counsel title which could be granted to any lawyer, though the bill did allow for the “royal prerogative’’ for QC to be given to other lawyers.
Chauvel argued it was a retrograde step to move back to royal titles.
“Titles matter… symbolism matters,’’ Chauvel said.
National’s Tim Macindoe said Labour had consistently argued for the retention of the Senior Counsel, but they were out of step with the beliefs of the judiciary, lawyers and many others.
The vote on Part One of the Bill, which contained the QC clauses, was completed by 64 to 57 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in support.
The bill itself was reported with amendments by the same margin.
MPs turned to the committee stage of the Electronic Identity Verification Bill.
All parties supported the bill though Opposition parties delighted in using the debate to highlight recent departmental privacy breaches.
This was be followed by the Identity Information Confirmation Bill.
All bills were reported with amendment on a voice vote.
The House rose interrupting the committee stage of the Legislation Bill as MPs were debating the title clause.
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