Deborah Manning

Senior Counsel

BA/LLB (Hons)


I am a Law Honours graduate from the University of Auckland (BA/LLB, Hons). Since admission to the Bar in 1999, I have been practising in refugee and immigration law (including citizenship), and human rights law (including family, civil, employment and criminal law). I am assisted by Simon Lamain (Junior Barrister) and Sam Parsons (Law Clerk). 

From 2008-2011, I was a senior legal consultant to a Geneva human rights organization, Al Karama (Dignity) which represents victims of grave human rights violations in the Arab region. I worked closely with the United Nations human rights protections mechanisms, regional human rights protection mechanisms and international organisations. 

Zaoui Case

I was co-counsel for the Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui, successfully representing him in the review of the first national security risk certificate issued in New Zealand from 2003- 2007. This was a landmark case which saw successful applications and appeals before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court – with Rodney Harrison QC as lead counsel.

Reported Cases

Some reported cases in which I have appeared as part of the legal team in the higher courts are: 


  • Attorney-General v Refugee Council of New Zealand Inc - [2003] 2 NZLR 577

  • Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2) - [2006] 1 NZLR 289

  • Zaoui v Attorney-General - [2005] 1 NZLR 577 

  • Attorney-General v X - [2008] 2 NZLR 579


Professional memberships

I am a member of the following institutions and organisations:

  • Current convener of the Auckland District Law Society Refugee and Immigration Committee.

  • Executive Member of the Refugee Council of New Zealand.

  • Executive Member of the Human Rights Foundation.

  • Advisory Board Member of the Equal Justice Project, University of Auckland.

  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society.

  • Member of the Auckland Women’s Law Society.

  • Member of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment.