Key Points:

An application by former police boss Clint Rickards to the Auckland District Law Society to be admitted to the bar has been passed to the society's national body for consideration.

Mr Rickards, who was last year acquitted along with Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum of raping Louise Nicholas in the early 1980s, completed a law degree after resigning from the force following the scandal.

He applied publicly to the Auckland District Law Society as a matter of course to be accepted as a practising lawyer, but the organisation has since said the situation was too complex for it to handle, the Sunday Star Times reported.

Auckland District Law Society president Keith Berman said the application was high profile with a level of public interest, and "a little unusual".

It's believed to be the first time the Auckland group has referred such an application to the New Zealand Law Society.

The Auckland group has previously said that Mr Rickards' past was relevant to whether he would be granted admission to the bar and public submissions needed to be weighed up.

A former assistant police commissioner, Mr Rickards said in September that he had not done anything illegal and deserved another chance.

"I have given 25 years to the community and it's a further extension to the studies I have done over the years. I did a business degree, I have done a Masters degree and the public policy area interests me and law interests me because it's time I gave back to my community."

Mr Rickards said he loved being in the police but it was "time to move on".

- NZPA