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Special recognition for UC academic appointed King’s Counsel

03 July 2024

UC’s Professor Philip Joseph has been appointed as a King’s Counsel (KC) in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the field of law. 


Photo caption: Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury Faculty of Law Professor Philip Joseph was appointed King’s Counsel in 2024 round.  

Professor Joseph of Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury Faculty of Law has been honoured for his distinguished career as a legal scholar. 

The title of King’s Counsel (KC) is a prestigious distinction given to senior barristers who have shown exceptional skill and expertise in the law. This honour is granted by the Crown, on the recommendation of the Attorney-General. A KC provides expert legal advice and advocacy, and they are often involved in high-profile and complex cases. 

“Professor Joseph’s appointment as King’s Counsel is a great honour that celebrates and acknowledges his tremendous contribution to public law scholarship and jurisprudence in New Zealand,” Amo Matua Executive Dean of Law Professor Petra Butler says.

“His contributions have not only shaped legal thought but have also guided the practice of law in New Zealand and beyond. We are incredibly proud to have such a distinguished individual among our faculty.”  

Eighteen barristers sole (a barrister who practices independently, without being part of a law firm) received the title in the 2024 round with Professor Joseph’s appointment receiving special recognition for his distinguished career and significant contributions to public and constitutional law. 

A leading figure in legal academia with a global reputation as a scholar of public and constitutional law, Professor Joseph’s academic journey began with an LLB (Hons) from UC in 1973, followed by an LLM from the University of British Columbia in 1982, and an LLD from UC in 2003.  

He was admitted to the bar in 1974, and appointed Professor of Law at UC in 2001. His scholarly works, including “Joseph on Constitutional and Administrative Law” (5th ed, 2021), have made a profound impact on the legal landscape. Outside of academia, he has served as a barrister, a consultant to a national law firm, and has played a pivotal role in law reform.

In addition to Professor Joseph’s appointment, UC graduates Wendy Aldred, Alanya Limmer, Philip Shamy, Timonthy Stephens, Robert Stewart, Garry Williams, and Samuel Wimsett received the rank of King’s Counsel.  

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