MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Law Society – Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 – 2015

10 June 2015

New Zealanders have lost a powerful and courageous advocate with the death of Sir Peter Williams QC, New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore has said.

Mr Moore says Sir Peter exemplified many of the qualities which people who needed a lawyer looked for.

“He wrote a book called A Passion for Justice and this is a fitting description of his life and long career as one of New Zealand’s leading Queens’ Counsel.

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.”

Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention.

“I have never forgotten attending meetings of the Howard League when I was a young lawyer and later seeing and hearing Sir Peter – who became heavily involved in the League for a while – in full flight on the issues and problems in our prisons. He was driven and committed but as with everything he was able to speak with humour and compassion.

“Sir Peter’s motivation, his ability to communicate on the issues in our justice system and the results he achieved mean we have lost a great lawyer. The New Zealand Law Society extends its condolences to Lady Heeni and his family.”

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.