Marie Dyhrberg is a leading Barrister specialising in Criminal Law. She appears regularly at the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in New Zealand. Her strong reputation derives not only from high-profile cases, but also from the defence of those who may have made mistakes.
Marie relates well to people from all walks of life and is a highly skilled all-round communicator. She is passionate about helping young people, whose talents she often sees going untapped for want of a decent education, a good home and a measure of encouragement. They do not always realise that a seemingly minor event or charge will affect them forever if it remains in their record. Marie is able to fairly represent both advantaged and disadvantaged young people and their families in a judicial environment that can be intimidating for them.
Marie is the immediate past Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA), the world's largest organisation of Law Societies, Bar Associations and individual lawyers. The IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. Marie is the first woman to take on the role of Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the IBA. In this role she has the opportunity to be involved in key legal international issues and to bring them to the NZ table.
“I find it quite easy to defend anybody. The more someone is targeted and despised by society, the more I want them to have the best I can offer, in terms of representation. That is what the law allows. Until the law changes, I will fight desperately for human rights. That is one of them – you are presumed innocent. You must have somebody who does not judge you, does not say you are guilty or innocent, and will do the best that is possible. If pleading guilty is the best thing you can do – and sometimes it is – then you need someone who will fight for the best outcome and the best sentence."
"I think the major problem in New Zealand is not drugs or promiscuousness. It is alcohol. And for some reason our society does not openly and objectively face up to that."
"In many of those whom I defend I see good people who are intelligent and caring members of society but who have not always felt truly part of the community. They may have suffered terrible abuse or brutalisation, having lived lives more terrible than the majority of us can imagine. "