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NZ Centre for Public Law

Public Lectures

New Zealand's Defective Law on Climate Change

Date: 16 February 2015

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 (GBLT1), Rear Courtyard, Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria's Faculty of Law and 350 Aotearoa
invite you to a public lecture

New Zealand’s Defective Law on Climate Change
Presented by
Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

This public lecture reviews both the international law and the state of negotiations on climate change that come to climax in Paris towards the end of 2015. It also reviews New Zealand’s domestic laws, mainly the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Climate Change Response Act 2002. The conclusion reached is that the development of a credible climate change policy is urgently required in New Zealand, but we must guard against the despair. The challenges presented by climate change can be met.

About the speaker
Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC was admitted as a solicitor in 1965 and to the bar in 1966 and practiced in Wellington with O'Flynn and Christie before taking up a British Commonwealth Fellowship to the University of Chicago where he graduated JD cum laude in 1967. He was a law professor in the United States and New Zealand for some years before entering politics as the MP for Christchurch Central in 1979. In Parliament he held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Leader of the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister. He was Minister for the Environment  1987-1990.
On leaving politics in 1990 he was a law professor at the University of Iowa and the Victoria University of Wellington. In 1994 he became a Foundation Partner of Chen & Palmer Public Law Specialists where he remained until 2005 when he was appointed President of the Law Commission, a position he occupied until 2010.  During that period he also chaired the Legislation Advisory Committee. He has appeared extensively in the superior courts including the Privy Council.
He is a member of the Her Majesty's Privy Council, was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1991 and was made an honorary companion to the Order of Australia the same year. He was made a member of the Global 500 Roll of Honour by the United Nations Environment Programme. He holds four honorary doctorates. He was elected a member of the American Law Institute, a Member of the American Association of International Law and a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Rule of Law Committee.
In 2010 and 2011 he chaired the Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident for the United Nations in New York that reported to the Secretary-General. For eight years he was New Zealand's Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. Sir Geoffrey is a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and the Law Faculty at the Victoria University of Wellington.  He has an extensive list of publications in legal periodicals that can be accessed on the Social Science Research Network.
He is also the author or co-author of twelve books, the latest of which is Reform – a Memoir published by the Victoria University Press in November 2013. He is a distinguished Fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington where he teaches  and he also practises in Wellington as a QC. In 2014 he taught a course in the Faculty of Law, Climate Change and the Law. 
Please RSVP to nzcpl@vuw.ac.nz by Thursday 12 February to confirm your attendance.

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