We will miss Sir Bruce Slane

Brian Stephenson – 

New Zealand’s first Privacy Commissioner Sir Bruce Slane died in Auckland on January 7, 2017, at the age of 85.

Sir Bruce was admitted as a lawyer in 1956 and practised law until his appointment as Privacy Commissioner in 1992.

He held that office for 11 years.

Sir Bruce was a former President of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society.

Media interest

He also took a strong interest in the media, as a way of promoting a wider understanding of the law, the courts and the legal profession.

In the 1970s, he was a popular radio talk show host and a newspaper columnist.

His understanding of the media led to his appointment as Chair of the Broadcasting Tribunal from 1977 to 1989.

Radio Panellist

In recent years, he was a frequent contributor to Jim Mora’s ‘The Panel’ on Radio New Zealand National Radio.

Sir Bruce was a Council Member of the Law Association for Asia and the Western Pacific (LAWASIA) from 1982 to 1991 and its Vice-President from 1989 to 1992.

He was made an honorary life member of the International Bar Association in 2007.

Queen’s Honours

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1985, a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003 and redesignated a Knight of the Order in 2009.

Sir Bruce is survived by his children, Chris, Peter and Judith.

His wife, Lady Penelope Slane, died only 10 days before him, on December 28, 2016.

Brian Stephenson is a Barrister and Lawyer based in Auckland. He is a long-time friend of the late Sir Bruce Slane.

Editor’s Note: Sir Bruce Slane was a friend of us at Indian Newslink and was a regular guest at the annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture.

Born in 1931, Sir Bruce was educated at Takapuna Grammar School and later graduated with a law degree from what was Auckland University College.

In 1957, he became partner in the firm that was to become Cairns Slane Fitzgerald and Phillips.

He is survived by two sons, Peter and Chris, a renowned cartoonist, and daughter Judith.

Photo Caption: Sir Bruce Slane

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