Christchurch lawyers unhappy with Judith Collins over street name

Sir Robert Chambers
Judith Collins

Under-fire Justice Minister Judith Collins has come under attack in a lawyers' magazine for naming a street in Christchurch after a judge she had personal links with. 

The criticism comes as Prime Minster John Key changed his position on Ms Collins, saying she is on her last chance.

Now the Justice Minister’s decision to name a street in Christchurch’s new justice precinct after the late Sir Robert Chambers has been labeled “ill-considered.”

Miss Collins had instructed Sir Robert when he was a barrister and had served as vice-president on the Auckland District Law Society Council while Sir Robert was president.

Writing in the Law Society's Canterbury Westland branch magazine, barrister Gerald Lascelles says Miss Collins should reconsider her decision.

“It was made without proper or any regard for local interests and seemingly made by one who had long-standing personal links with the person so acknowledged.”

Mr Lascelles writes that it is unfortunate that controversy should surround the late judge but he is unknown to the local public and to some in the legal profession in Christchurch.

“I would have thought that if a lane in this precinct were to be named after someone who deserved well of his or her fellows, the net of consideration might have been cast a little more widely and the name of someone who had a link with either Christchurch or Canterbury given a thought.”

Sir Robert's widow, Lady Deborah Chambers, told NBR ONLINE it was inappropriate for her to comment on the controversy.

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vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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