Queen’s Counsel to become King’s Counsel
In a statement issued first to Lawyers Weekly, the Australian Bar Association (ABA) has confirmed that persons appointed as QCs will automatically become KCs, following the accession to the throne of King Charles III.
Following the passing of Her Majesty Elizabeth II earlier this morning Australian time (9 September), the appointments of persons as Queen’s Counsel by letters patent continue automatically, the ABA has confirmed.
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“By custom, those persons, upon the passing of her majesty, became ‘King’s Counsel’ (or ‘KC’). They did not need to seek new letters patent of appointment or take any further action,” the association explained in a statement.
Similarly, the UK-based Bar Council has been advised by the Crown Office that QCs become KCs with immediate effect.
Speaking following the death of Her Majesty, ABA president Dr Matt Collins AM KC said that Queen Elizabeth “served the people of Australia, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with unfailing dignity, compassion, intelligence and grace over seven remarkable decades”.
“Throughout that period, Australia has been very well served by, and owes much of its stability and prosperity to, the institutions and Westminster traditions of which her majesty has been a vital and wise custodian,” he proclaimed.
“On this sad day, the legal profession joins in mourning the death of her majesty and in offering our best wishes to her successor, King Charles III.”
The ABA, on behalf of Australia’s more than 6,000 barristers, offered its heartfelt condolences to the royal family in the wake of the passing.