Blackstone Chambers

Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand

Attorney-General v Smith

Court of Appeal 3 Judges
Attorney-General v Smith
Court of Appeal 3 Judges 
  • 1 March 2018
  • [2018] NZCA 24

Judgment misunderstood by the press. The argument whether Mr Smith could wear a wig was moot, in other words Mr Smith can still wear his wig and that was not the point. The appeal was about whether it was because of s.14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act – Freedom of Expression or was it a common law right. The judgment says “Mr Smith has the common law right to wear a wig if he wishes, simply because it is not illegal to do so.”



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Human rights lawyer Tony Ellis provided the breakthrough. You’re doing it wrong, he said. By focusing on the government’s human rights obligations – complaining to the Human Rights Commission and United Nations Committee Against Torture, [Sonja] Cooper helped spark action outside the courts. Dominion Post 23 September 2017 C3

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