Judge will tread 'fine line' in court as Christchurch mosque attacker opts to represent himself, Queen's Counsel says

The judge at the sentencing of the Christchurch mosque attacker will tread a “fine line” in allowing Brenton Tarrant to talk after he sacked his lawyer, says a Queen’s Counsel.

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Brenton Tarrant will represent himself at his sentencing, meaning he can speak openly at the hearing next month. Source: 1 NEWS

The gunman admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of committing a terrorist act in an attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15 last year.

He has the right to represent himself but there's concern he'll use the opportunity to spout hateful views.

"It will be a fine line and a fine balance, because the judge will have to allow him to speak to some extent, he's entitled to do that, and the judge will let him speak, even though that might be difficult, upsetting, and even painful," Queen's Counsel James Rapley told 1 NEWS.

"Ultimately the judge controls the court, and if the speech from the defendant goes off topic, it's not relevant, the judge will stop it, I'm sure of that."

Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

Sentencing's expected to take three days, starting on August 24.