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Public Lectures

Constitutional guardianship: The roles of public or state sector bodies

Date: 24 November 2016

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Constitutional guardianship: The roles of public or state sector bodies

A public lecture by 2016 Borrin Fellow Professor Dawn Oliver

We are all used to the idea that the courts and Parliament have roles in relation to the constitutional arrangements of New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The courts, in their judicial review jurisdictions, uphold the rule of law in its various aspects. The UK Parliament,especially the Upper Chamber, has developed an important role in the scrutiny of bills and of government policies against constitutional standards developed by its committees. I assume that the New Zealand Parliament also discharges such scrutiny roles. Thus, in both countries, courts and legislatures act as ‘constitutional guardians’. But what about other public bodies, including public service departments and arm’s length bodies? In this lecture, I shall discuss the formal and informal norms which govern these institutions.
I shall suggest that they too have constitutional guardianship roles. Is this what ‘stewardship’ is about?

The lecture will be followed by refreshments
RSVP: https://lawevents-borrinfellow2016.eventbrite.co.nz

Dawn Oliver is Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at University College London. Her main interests are in the relationships between law and politics, especially in relation to constitutional reform in the UK.

Dawn’s publications include Constitutional Reform in the United Kingdom (2003) and Constitutional Guardians: The House of Lords (2015); she has edited eight editions of The Changing Constitution (with Jeffrey Jowell and now Colm O’Cinneide), to which she has contributed chapters on intra-party democracy, citizenship, Parliament and the regulation of politics. Other collections she has edited,and to which she has contributed, include Human Rights and the Private Sphere (2007), Lessons from the Pitcairn Prosecutions (2009), Constitutional Implications of the Regulatory State (2010), How Constitutions Change (2011) and Parliament and the Law (2013). She is a fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Queens Counsel.

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NZ Centre for Public Law


Advancing Better Government through Legislative Stewardship

Date: 27–28 October 2016

Time: 8.30 am

Advancing Better Government through Legislative Stewardship

How do we design legislative and regulatory systems so that we can protect the
interests of the future, including those of our future selves and future generations?

Stewardship—active planning and management of regulation and legislation advice—is a statutory obligation for chief executives and, through them, the New Zealand public service. This conference will bring together leading drafters, officials and academics to address legislative stewardship—not only what it is but, most importantly, how we can all practise it.

View programme (subject to change)


Day 1: 8:45am-5:15pm, Thursday 27 October 2016

The conference will be opened by its parliamentary host, the Hon Christopher Finlayson QC, Attorney-General. Brenda King, First Legislative Counsel for Northern Ireland will deliver a keynote address entitled Legislative quality and the protection of constitutional values.

Other sessions will explore the concept of legislative stewardship, including the following themes:

  • Legislative stewardship in context
  • Bridging the legislative and policy divide
  • The legislative landscape: processes and norms

Confirmed speakers for day 1 include:

  • Debra Angus, Barrister
  • Prof Jonathan Boston, Victoria
  • Miriam Dean QC, Barrister
  • Dr Rory Gallagher, Behavioural Insights Team
  • AProf Michael Macaulay, Victoria
  • Lee McCauley, Behavioural Insights Team
  • Prof Geoff McLay, Victoria
  • Peter Mumford, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Victoria
  • Frank Peek, State Services Commission
  • Max Rashbrooke, Victoria
  • Jonathan Robinson, Parliamentary Counsel Office
  • Andrew Royle, State Services Commission
  • Māmari Stephens, Victoria
  • Richard Wallace, Parliamentary Counsel Office
  • Tania Warburton, Legislative Design and Advisory Committee

Day 2: 9:00am-12:30pm, Friday 28 October 2016

The second morning consists of a series of targeted how-to seminars and workshops addressing the practicalities of law-making within the wider context of legislative and regulatory stewardship.

Participants will be able to choose to attend two of four workshops:

  • Prof Paul Rishworth QC, Crown Law Office on Influencing behaviour through law rather than by law
  • Sarah Kerkin, Ministry of Justice on Designing legislative frameworks for legitimacy
  • Richard Harker, Auckland Council and Colin Holden, Ministry for Primary Industries on Delegated legislation: case-studies in legislative design
  • Gerrard Carter, Cabinet Office on Shepherding bills through the legislative process.

The conference will close with a plenary address from Prof Mark Hickford entitled Situating Stewardship.

This conference is CPD compatible.

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Launch of the Master of International Trade

Date: 1 November 2016

Time: 5.30 pm

A first in New Zealand and Australia, Victoria University of Wellington is now offering a Master's degree that goes beyond traditional academic divides to explore the cultural, economic, legal and political aspects of international trade.

The Master of International Trade will be officially launched by The Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law Professor Mark Hickford.

This is an opportunity to find out more about the degree and meet its expert academics across Law, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Victoria Business School..

Mezzanine Floor, Rutherford House
23 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Please RSVP by Thursday 27 October to: law-events@vuw.ac.nz

Find out more about the Master of International Trade

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