Rev’d Dr Noel Cox, legal scholar, priest, and former Barrister


Areas of Expertise

Principal areas of expertise – public law, ecclesiastical law, and constitutional history.

Professional background

Noel Cox was a barrister specialising in public law, civil ligation and mediation. He retired from legal practise in 2019, but remains active as a writer.

He began his career as a barrister in Auckland in 1988, received an LLM from the University of Auckland 1995 (and the Fowlds Memorial Prize as the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Law), and a PhD in 2001 – he later obtained further degrees, including MA LTh MTheol, and was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in London (one of the four ancient Inns of Court, of which English Barristers are members) in 2011. He was a lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology from 1998 (and its first Professor of Law in 2006). In 2015 he returned to the full-time Bar as a Barrister in private practice in Auckland.

His main fields of research interest are constitutional law and ecclesiastical law. His work has been published in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. He has presented conference papers and given keynote addresses in Australia, England, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, the United States of America, and Wales. He has taught in New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom.

His work was cited, amongst others, by the Court of Appeal in Ontario, in Black v Chretien (2001) 199 DLR (4th) 228, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ontario First Nations (2008) Limited Partnership v Aboriginal Affairs (Ontario) 2013 ONSC 7141,


Noel Cox in the Great Hall of the Old College, Aberystwyth

retrieved on 2015-10-23, CV-13-471630; CV-13-471633; CV-13-471638; CV-13-471639, 13 December 2013; in the Federal Court of Canada, in Copello v Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada [2002] 3 FC 24 and Khadr v Canada (Attorney-General) [2006] FC 727; [2007] 2 FCR 218, para 89; in the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, in Takamore v Clarke [2011] NZCA 587 (23 November 2011) per Glazebrook J (Glazebrook, Chambers and Wild JJ) and in the Supreme Court of Canada, in Odhavji v Woodhuse [2003] SCC 69, on appeal from the Court of Appeal in Ontario [2000] OR (3d) 181.

Cox was Professor of Law, and 2004-2009 Head of the Department of Law (initially Commercial Law), of the Faculty of Business and Law, at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge (St Edmund’s College and Wolfson College) and The Australian National University. He taught for a decade at the Auckland University of Technology before moving to the United Kingdom.

From 2010 to 2014 he was Professor of Law (and Head of the Department of Law and Criminology 2010-2013) at Aberystwyth University, Wales.

He was a member of the Public Issues Committee of the Auckland District Law Society 2003-2010 (principal author of the papers on “International law, United Nations, and Iraq”, “The Guantanamo Bay Prisoners: Issues for New Zealand”, “Judges, Politicians, and the Constitutional Balance”, and joint author of “Has the need to counter terrorism resulted in distortions to the domestic criminal justice system?”, “Judicial Conduct”, “The Changing Legal Profession”, and “The Effect of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act on the Independent Bar”); Convener 2006-2009, 2010, and of Courts Committee 2004-2005. Member of the Council of the Auckland District Law Society 2009-2010.

Media appearances have included numerous interviews on Radio New Zealand, NewstalkZB, BBC, TV1 and TV3 (e.g. “Privileges committee likely to split along party lines: Clark”, 22 September 2008), on public law matters, and as convener of the Public Issues Committee.

He was an Associate of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc (AAMINZ).

Since 2018 he has been in parish ministry in Auckland, and is currently Priest-in-Charge, the Parish of St Thomas Tamaki, Kohimarama, and Port Chaplain, Auckland, The Mission to Seafarers Auckland Inc. He is also Regional Chaplain, Northern Region, Hato Hone St John Aotearoa New Zealand.

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