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About Dr Tony Ellis

Tony is one of New Zealand’s leading Human Rights lawyers.

Tony takes private work and civil and criminal legal aid in the High Court, or above. He will consider cases in specialist tribunals, but would rarely take a Family Law Case.

Tony's particular interests including human rights generally, Criminal trials and appeals, Judicial reviews, Habeas Corpus, Extradition, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Disability and Mental Health, and Preventive Detention cases as well as cases involving recusal (disqualification) of Judges.

He has predominately a public law and criminal practice. Tony takes criminal cases and judicial reviews, and compensation covering prisoners rights including deaths or other abuses in custody, and other breaches of human rights. He is the only New Zealand barrister regularly having international human rights law cases before the United Nations Human Rights Committee,

He is the only New Zealand lawyer ever to have won any cases before the UNHRC. In 2014 he lodged his first case before the UN Committee Against Torture, he also lodged a case before The Working Party against Arbitrary Detention, and a claim from Pitcairn to the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, as well as a Shadow Report to the UN Decolonization Committee. All four of these UN cases were pro bono (free).

District Court work on serious criminal cases will also be considered.

Time permitting, Tony will also consider taking pro bono (free) work especially where fundamental human rights are involved.

Tony's approach to the law is international and comparative he holds four law degrees from Australia, England and New Zealand.

Tony was President or Chairperson of the New Zealand Council of Civil Liberties for over 8 years until the end of 2008. He has been a frequent media spokesman on civil liberties and human rights issues and a prolific writer of submissions to Select Committees on aspects of proposed legislation.