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Common Grounds - New Zealand & America Latina

Date: 21–23 October 2015

Time: 8.30 am

 Common Grounds conference header

This two-day conference, the first of its kind in New Zealand, will bring together a number of outstanding Latin American experts to offer a deeper understanding of the legal history and commercial culture of a region that is becoming increasingly significant to the New Zealand economy.

With a population expected to reach 625 million this year, and an increasingly democratic political landscape, Latin America looks set to develop into an economic powerhouse. Connections between New Zealand and Latin America are rapidly expanding and diversifying, and in dealing with any culture, an understanding of its law, legal system and legal culture is a vital component of successful political and commercial engagement. This conference will provide a comprehensive programme for both private and public sector entities with an interest in opportunities in the region.

Keynote speaker:

Pablo Fajardo, acclaimed human rights lawyer – sponsored by the Law Foundation
Pablo Fajardo was lead counsel in one of the largest environmental suits in history, representing 30,000 indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon against American oil giant Chevron (formerly Texaco) for widespread contamination of the Amazon basin.


Registration information will be added shortly. Please email law-events@vuw.ac.nz with any enquiries about this event.

Third Biennial Labour Law Conference of the New Zealand Labour Law Society

Date: 27 November 2015

Time: 8.30 am

old government buildings

Challenges of Regulating Future Labour Markets

Third Biennial Labour Law Conference of the New Zealand Labour Law Society
In conjunction with Victoria University of Wellington Law School

The New Zealand Labour Law Society’s third biennial conference will be held on Friday 27th November 2015 at the Law School, Victoria University of Wellington, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Virginia Mantouvalou
Reader in Human Rights and Labour Law, University College, London.
'Human Rights at Work

Professor Paul Secunda
Director, Labor and Employment Law Program Marquette Law School, Wisconsin
‘The Coming International Trend of Superannuation Workplace Pensions’

Professor Anthony Forsyth
Law School, RMIT University, Melbourne.
The Report of the Australian Productivity Commission on Industrial Relations

Professor Gordon Anderson
Law Faculty, Victoria University of Wellington

Invitation to submit a paper: The organisers invite papers and proposals for papers from academics, practitioners or judges (including student papers) on any area of labour law. We particularly encourage papers that explore or develop an area of labour law in a thematic, analytical or academic way (rather than papers that might be more appropriate for a practice oriented event) but this should not be seen as discouraging papers that take this approach in a practice oriented context.

The theme of the conference will be Challenges of Regulating Future Labour Markets and papers on that theme are particularly welcome; this might include topics as diverse as regulating zero-hours contracting, challenges in the low-paid sector, limiting employer intrusions into private life, particularly problems with social media and employer surveillance.

Submissions should include the name, title and affiliation of the author(s), a short biography and an abstract of no more than 250 words. Proposals should be submitted by 1 August and full papers by 1 November. Papers will be quality assured/referred by the organisers and notifications should be expected within 6 weeks of submission. Proposals should be sent to labourlawconference@vuw.ac.nz. Accepted proposals will receive full information on the final format although it is not expected that final papers would be longer than 6-8000 words

Full papers, following a refereeing process, may be selected for publication in a special Labour Law issue of the New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations. Papers from 2013 were published in 2013 39 NZJER (issues 2 and 3) accessible from http://www.nzjournal.org/index.htm

To register for the conference please click here

If applicable enter the relevant registration code below in the “Promotional Code” box (ignore the “Voucher” box).

If you are experiencing issues registering online please fill out this registration form and send to labourlawconference@vuw.ac.nz


Early Bird/Non-Member Registration (before 30 October) NZ$220+GST

NZLLS/ALLA Member Registration NZ$200+GST  (promo code: MEM)

Registration + NZLLS Membership Fee NZ$215+GST (promo code: NEWMEM)

Full-time Student Registration (ID Required) NZ$70+GST (promo code: STUDFT)

Standard Registration NZ$250+GST


A substitute delegate is welcome if you are unable to attend (please just let us know). An administration fee of $50 may be charged for cancellations received in writing before 16 November 2015 - no refunds will be given after this date.

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NZ Centre for Public Law


Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes

Date: 19–20 May 2016

Time: 8.30 am

Call for Papers–Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes–Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law
at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law

in partnership with
The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)
Boston College Law School
invite submissions for
Symposium on Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law

Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty Law, Boston College Law School, and The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) invite submissions for a two-day symposium on quasi-constitutionality and constitutional statutes, to be held on the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law (Old Government Buildings) on Thursday & Friday, May 19-20, 2016.
This symposium is convened by Joel Colón-Ríos (Victoria University of Wellington) and Richard Albert (Boston College).

Subject-Matter of Symposium
It is now uncontroversial to state that, even in countries with a master-text constitution, what counts as fundamental law cannot be reduced to a single canonical document. Constitutional conventions, international obligations, and constitutional jurisprudence are frequently, and indeed correctly, considered part of a country’s constitution. Increasingly, judges and scholars alike attribute to “ordinary” laws what may be identified as a quasi-constitutional status. Reference is commonly made to superstatutes, to statutes with constitutional significance, and even to “constitutional” statutes. This symposium will convene scholars engaged in the comparative study of quasi-constitutionality. Subjects of inquiry may include quasi-entrenchment, quasi-constitutional rights, transitions to and from quasi-constitutional status or any issue examining the conceptual space between ordinary law and formal constitutionality.

Structure of Symposium
This two-day symposium will feature ten (10) papers selected through this Call for Papers, with one (1) discussant assigned to each paper, for a total of twenty (20) participants. Five papers will be presented and discussed on each day, with each paper allocated one hour of time for group discussion. Each day will feature a keynote luncheon speaker and will conclude early enough with time for rest and relaxation.

Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.

The convenors intend to publish the papers in an edited book with each paper as a separate chapter. Discussants may also be invited to submit stand-alone papers to the edited book. An invitation to participate in this symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 10,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the symposium convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a full pre-symposium draft by April 15, 2016; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-symposium final draft by August 1, 2016.

Submission Instructions
Interested scholars should email an abstract by October 1, 2015 to ryan.hynes@bc.edu on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the full pre-symposium draft to be submitted by April 15, 2016. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “New Zealand—Abstract Submission—Quasi-Constitutionality.”

Successful applicants will be notified no later than November 1, 2015.

There is no cost to participate in this symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging and other incidental expenses. The New Zealand Centre for Public Law will negotiate a special group rate for lodging. Lunch will be provided.

Please direct inquiries in connection with this workshop to the convenors:
Joel Colón-Ríos
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law
Richard Albert
Boston College Law School

About the New Zealand Centre for Public Law
The NZ Centre for Public Law was established in the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington in 1996 by the Victoria University Council, with the funding assistance of the Victoria University Foundation. The objectives of the Centre are: (1) to stimulate awareness and interest in public law issues; (2) to provide a forum for the discussion of those issues; and (3) foster and promote research of these issues. The Centre is a liaison point for the Law Faculty’s external relationships on public law issues and in conjunction with other related parts of the wider Victoria University community. Its activities revolve around hosting conferences, seminars and other events to debate and influence the public law issues of most current topical concern. The aim is to add to the public debates on these issues by making accessible the key facts and different perspectives on the issues; and by providing fora for engaging with and sparking dialogue with key decision-makers as well as learned commentators. The NZ Centre for Public Law engages with politicians, public servants, the judiciary, the legal profession, academics, distinguished international visitors, and everyone else who wishes to help shape the current issues of our democracy. For more, please visit http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/centres/nzcpl.

About The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S)
The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) was officially launched in June 2014 at an Inaugural Conference sponsored by the European University Institute and NYU School of Law in Florence, Italy. The conference featured a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, plenary papers by Robert Keohane, Ruth Rubio Marin and Joseph H.H. Weiler, and hundreds of participants in concurrent panels on all subjects in public law.
Presided by Sabino Cassese, ICON·S emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON—the International Journal of Constitutional Law. For several years now I·CON has been, both by choice and by the cartographic reality of the field, much more than a journal of comparative constitutional Law. I·CON has expanded its interests, range of authors, readers, Editorial Board members and, above all, issues covered to include not only discrete articles in fields such as Administrative Law, Global Constitutional Law, Global Administrative Law and the like, but also increasingly includes scholarship that reflects both legal reality and academic perception, and which in dealing with the challenges of public life and governance combines elements from all of the above with a good dosage of political theory and social science. Learned societies have often been founded to validate the emergence, autonomy, or breakaway of an intellectual endeavor. By contrast, international learned societies are often driven by the realization of intellectual cross-fertilization that can stem from disciplinary ecumenism. ICON·S is both.
The ICON·S Executive Committee includes Sujit Choudhry, Gráinne De Búrca, Ran Hirschl, Bing Bing Jia, Susanna Mancini, Phoebe Okowa, Michel Rosenfeld, Ruth Rubio Marin, Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Anne van Aaken, and Joseph H.H. Weiler. For more information, please visit: http://icon-society.org/site/index.

About Boston College Law School
Founded in 1929, Boston College Law School offers broad course offerings and small class sizes that permit considerable personal interaction with faculty. The international and comparative law curriculum provides opportunities for in-class instruction, innovative and flexible study-abroad programs, and meaningful training in the field. Boston College Law School understands that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice. The curriculum trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. The program prepares leaders to pursue social justice not just nationally, but internationally as well. For more, please visit: www.bc.edu/law.

About the Convenors
Joel Colón-Ríos is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington. His research explores the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy from a theoretical and comparative perspective. His papers have been published in leading international journals and explore topics such as different institutionalizations of judicial review of legislation, the theoretical basis of the doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendments, and the juridical implications of the theory of constituent power. His current book project, Constituent Power and the Law, looks at the ways in which judges, government officials, jurists, and citizens from various jurisdictions have made use, and use, the theory of constituent power to justify or challenge the legal validity of different exercises of political power.

Richard Albert is an Associate Professor at Boston College Law School and, in 2015-16, a Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. A specialist in comparative public law with a focus on formal and informal constitutional amendment, he has since December 2014 been Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize in 2010 for “the most outstanding article” on comparative law by a scholar under the age of 40. He is also an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, an elected member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law, a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Public Law, and a founding co-editor of I-CONnect, the new scholarly blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. Prior to joining the faculty of Boston College Law School, Albert served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. Educated at Yale, Harvard and Oxford, he is currently engaged as a consultant on constitutional reform in Europe and the Caribbean.


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International Organisations and the Rule of Law: Perils and Promise

Date: 7–8 December 2015

Time: 8.30 am

NZCPL and ILA Logos


The New Zealand Centre for Public Law
The International Law Association (New Zealand Branch)

are pleased to announce a workshop on:

International Organisations and the Rule of Law:
Perils and Promise

to be held at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law
Wellington, New Zealand

Keynote speaker and workshop commentator:

Professor José E. Alvarez
Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law
New York University School of Law

International organisations have represented some of humanity’s highest hopes for a more just and peaceful world order. In recent years, however, they have also been beset by serious problems and criticisms. Internationalists once believed that apolitical, technical international agencies would bring about ‘peace by pieces’, but some organisations such as the World Bank and IMF now face the contrary charge of advancing a particular brand of neoliberal economics and in the process undermining public goods and political legitimacy in their member states. Observers have noted the irony that the United Nations promulgates a “rule of law” paradigm to its member states, while it is not at all clear that the organization itself meets the requirements of that ideal. The Security Council is regarded alternately as a tool of ‘hegemonic international law’ and lamentably ineffectual where the interests of its permanent members are directly or indirectly concerned. And whereas the international community once saw the blue helmets of UN peacekeepers as symbols of international peace and security, that hopeful promise has been undercut by the tragedies in Rwanda and Srebrenica, allegations of sexual misconduct and, more recently, the catastrophic cholera outbreak in Haiti.

These problems raise a series of important theoretical and practical policy questions that demand attention from international lawyers. On the one hand, classical international organisations law, such as the doctrine of implied powers, has legitimised the continuous ‘mission creep’ of organisations well beyond what their founders originally intended, while failing to develop an adequate and enforceable doctrine of ultra vires. On the other hand, international organisations’ immunities are interpreted in an exceedingly broad, functionalist manner, making their officials and experts, as well as the organisations themselves, effectively unaccountable for a wide range of civil and criminal wrongs. Efforts to extend the international law of responsibility to international organisations have been roundly criticised on both doctrinal and practical grounds, and are unlikely to provide recourse to individuals and groups most negatively impacted by IO activities. The internal accountability mechanisms of international organisations, such as the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, may not address the root of the problems.

This workshop will take a fresh look at the resources that international law possesses to ensure that international organisations are held accountable for their errors and excesses, while remaining relevant and effective in the face of ever growing global challenges. How can international law develop in a way that preserves and enhances the dynamic possibilities of international organisations and their ability to contribute to the development of international law while making sure that the organisations themselves comply with the rule of law? Can international law offer solutions, or is it part of the problem? The workshop organisers welcome papers that present original legal or empirical research; theoretical reflections; case studies from practice; and critical and historical perspectives.

The workshop will be held in a roundtable format, focused on the discussion of draft papers. To enable all participants to benefit from the workshop, all will be expected to have read, and be prepared to comment on, each other’s papers.

Deadline for proposals: 15 July 2015

Proposals must include a one-page abstract of new writing and a one-page curriculum vitae, and should be emailed to Law-Events@vuw.ac.nz. Due to space limitations, early submission of proposals is highly encouraged. All participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Successful applicants will be notified by 15 August 2015.

Draft papers, no more than 8,000 words long, including footnotes, will due for circulation to all workshop participants no later than 15 November 2015.

Workshop organisers: Campbell McLachlan and Guy Fiti Sinclair
Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law

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