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Public Lectures

At home and abroad - A Life in the law

Date: 12 October 2016

Time: 6.00 pm

Venue: Government Buildings Lecture Theatre GBLT2, Pipitea Campus

We are pleased to invite you to a lecture by

Professor Emeritus
Rt Hon Sir Kenneth Keith
At home and abroad - A Life in the law

Co-hosted with the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies

Ken Keith was a member of the Law Faculty at Victoria for over twenty years, from the 1960s to the 1980s and is now back in the Faculty as a Professor Emeritus. He studied law in Auckland, Victoria and Harvard. In the 1960s he was a junior lawyer in the Department of External Affairs and the United Nations Secretariat in New York, in which he was involved in international law reform work.

He was an inaugural member and then President of the New Zealand Law Commission from 1986 to 1996 and a member of the Danks Committee on Official Information, the Legislation Advisory Committee, the committee which prepared the draft Bill of Rights and the Royal Commission on the Electoral System. From 1996 to 2006 he was a member of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. From 2006 to 2015 he was a judge of the International Court of Justice, based in The Hague. He has also been involved in international litigation as counsel in the Nuclear Tests cases and an arbitrator. Ken has received numerous honours and awards.

Please RSVP to: rsvp@vuw.ac.nz with “Keith” in the subject line by 1 October.

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 do it.

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:

  • Prof Jonathan Boston, Victoria
  • Miriam Dean QC, barrister
  • Dr Rory Gallagher, UK Behaviour Insights Team
  • Scott Gallacher, Ministry for Primary Industries
  • AProf Michael Macaulay, Victoria
  • Lee McCauley, NZ Treasury
  • Prof Geoff McLay, Victoria
  • Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Victoria
  • Max Rashbrook, author and journalist
  • Māmari Stephens, Victoria
  • Richard Wallace, Parliament 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.


Registration now open

$175 (full registration)

$50 (student or unwaged registration - please use the discount code ABGSTUD)


This conference is CPD compatible.

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