Former UN Security Council president joins High Court bench

by Sol Dolor04 Aug 2017
Respected diplomat, barrister, and solicitor Gerard van Bohemen has been appointed a High Court judge.

Van Bohemen, who will sit in Auckland, earned his undergraduate in English in 1977 and an LLB (hons) 1st class in 1979 from Victoria University. He worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ legal division from 1978 to 1982 and spent the next four years at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) in New York.

He returned to New Zealand in 1987 to become the Ministry of External Relations and Trade’s legal division deputy director. In 1990, he joined legacy Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co in Auckland.

He returned to New York in 1993, becoming the deputy representative of New Zealand to the UN and the UN Security Council. He returned to New Zealand in 1995 and was appointed by Buddle Findlay as a senior solicitor. He was promoted to partner just a year later.

The new High Court judge moved to Chen Palmer in 2004 as a partner before returning to public service as a the director of the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s legal division in 2005. He concurrently held the position of international legal adviser to the New Zealand government, before becoming the deputy secretary for multilateral and legal affairs in 2010.

He was appointed as New Zealand’s permanent representative and ambassador to the UN, and New Zealand’s representative to the UN Security Council in 2015. From July 2015 to September 2016, he was the president of the UN Security Council.


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