Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC is a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council. Born in Nelson in 1942, he was a law professor both in the United States and New Zealand before going into politics. He was elected MP for Christchurch Central in 1979 and became Deputy leader of the Labour Opposition in 1983. When the Fourth Labour Government was formed in 1984 he became Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Leader of the House and Minister of Justice. After the 1987 election he ceased being Leader of the House and became Minister for the Environment, a portfolio he retained when he became Prime Minister in 1989. He retired from politics in 1990 and then taught a semester each year at the law school at Victoria University and also at the University of Iowa. In 1994 he began with Mai Chen New Zealand’s first specialist public law firm. In 1995 he sat as an ad hoc judge on the International Court of Justice in the case New Zealand v France. From 2005 until 2010 Geoffrey Palmer was President of the New Zealand Law Commission. For eight years he was New Zealand’s Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. In 2010–2011 he chaired the United Nation’s inquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident. He holds honorary doctorates from three universities. Currently he practises as a barrister in Harbour Chambers in Wellington and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington Law Faculty and Centre for Public Law. Geoffrey is married to Margaret and they have two adult children, Matthew and Rebekah, and seven grandchildren.