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NZ Centre for International Economic Law

Public Lectures

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – what lies ahead?

Date: 23 February 2016

Time: 10.00 am

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

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – what lies ahead?

Listen to an expert panel discussion on aspects of trade, labour, the Treaty of Waitangi, intellectual property and investment

There has been much discussion about both the merits and disadvantages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Experts from the Law Faculty will publicly discuss the facts and their views to further inform the dialogue.

  • International trade and international economic law expert Meredith Kolsky Lewis, the ratification process and prospects
  • Employment and labour law specialist Gordon Anderson, the labour chapter
  • Treaty of Waitangi and Māori law specialist Carwyn Jones, Treaty of Waitangi issues
  • Intellectual property and international trade expert Susy Frankel, intellectual property and its relationship with investment

Please RSVP at http://nzciel-tppa.eventbrite.co.nz to confirm your attendance.

Bilateral Arbitration Treaty Regime

Date: 2 March 2016

Time: 12.30 pm

Venue: Moot Room GB340, Level 3, Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Bilateral Arbitration Treaty Regime -
Access to Justice for Small & Medium Sized Businesses
An Economic Analysis

Last year’s discussion on how a Bilateral Arbitration Treaty regime will facilitate access to justice for SMEs has created great interest. Therefore, the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand and the New

Zealand Centre of International Economic Law are delighted to facilitate the presentation of:

Investigating the costs and benefits of a proposed Bilateral Arbitration Treaty
Chris Nixon, Senior Economist, New Zealand Institute of Economic
Research & Georgia Whelan, Researcher

“It hurts my head to think about it..." SMEs and the legal framework for international commercial contracts
Hanneke van Oeveren, Victoria University - Law Faculty
Commentator: Gary Born, world leading international arbitration specialist and author of the Bilateral Arbitration Treaty

The Bilateral Arbitration Treaty Regime (BAT) provides a default dispute resolution system in business to business disputes. It is aimed at addressing the adverse consequences that businesses might be facing when they have not agreed on a way to resolve their cross border disputes or, when they do, the agreed dispute resolution clause is invalid or wide open to interpretation. The international litigation system, which is currently the applicable default system is all too often time-consuming, expensive and inefficient.

Whether a BAT will yield economic benefits for SMEs- through reducing the risks associated with current dispute resolution practices- and in turn New Zealand’s economy as whole is the focus of the first part of this lecture. The results of a survey among New Zealand’ exporters will be released and critically examined. The survey was utilised to establish current exporting practices of firms and determine
(a) their response to the potential implementation of a BAT; and
(b) any insights to their own international dispute experiences.

“How do SMEs behave when negotiating cross border contracts? What are the important contract clauses SMEs are negotiating with their foreign counter parts? Are written contracts common among SMEs in the international context?” Are only some of the questions which will be explored in the second presentation to answer whether a BAT would cure some of the pitfalls of SME contracting.

Law Foundation Logo

Gary Born is the chair of Wilmer Hale’s International Arbitration Practice Group. He has been ranked for the past 20 years as one of the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners and the leading arbitration practitioner in London. For more information http://www.wilmerhale.com/

Please RSVP to law-events@vuw.ac.nz by 25 February 2016.

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Maritime Law in the Asia-Pacific Region

Date: 25 February 2016

Time: 2.00 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 3 (GBLT3), Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

The New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law presents

Maritime Law in the Asia-Pacific Region

25 February 2016, 2pm – 5pm

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Henrik Ringbom

Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Oslo, Norway

The EU and International Maritime Law: Lessons for the Asia-Pacific Region?

Professor Hong Jun Shan

Vice President, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, P.R. China

Openness and Inclusiveness: the Nature of Chinese Maritime Law


For catering purposes please RSVP to law-events@vuw.ac.nz to confirm your attendance by 17 February 2016.

This free event will carry 2.5 CPD hours.

Maritime Law Association of Australia and NZ LogoNZCIEL LogoLaw Foundation logo

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Faculty and School Events


ALTA Conference 2016

Date: 7–9 July 2016

Time: 11.00 am

Venue: Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law

banner for ALTA conference 2016

Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law is proud to be hosting the annual conference of the Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) in 2016.

The 2016 ALTA Conference will bring together lawyers from Australasia and around the world and from the four sectors—academia, the public sector, non-government organisations and the private sector. Together we will explore the role of law teachers, scholars and lawyers in promoting good governance, strong and resilient economies mindful of the environment, as well as multicultural, diverse and thriving societies. The conference will also provide a forum for discussion on the role law teachers and scholars should play in forming the next generation of graduates, practitioners, government officials and civil society advisers.

Alongside keynote plenary events led by world-renowned experts, parallel sessions will enable established academics as well as new and emerging scholars to present their work and to meet and engage with speakers and participants. Some of the parallel sessions will be allocated to interest groups, allowing them to convene and reflect on the future direction of their particular area of specialisation, while others will be organised according to conference sub-themes with papers discussing various aspects of the overall theme.

Call for papers

Law teachers and scholars at all stages of their careers as well as practitioners and government officials from Australasia and beyond are invited to to consult the call for papers and submit paper proposals on the above theme or any elements thereof for consideration by the 2016 ALTA Conference organising committee.

For further queries, please contact ALTA-2016@vuw.ac.nz

Key dates

Proposal submission deadline: 10 March 2016
Notification of acceptances: Late March 2016
Speaker registration deadline: 10 May 2016
Early bird registration: 21 May 2016
Submission of full papers for awards: 10 June 2016
Conference: 11am Thursday 7 July to 1pm Saturday 9 July 2016

Other information

Accommodation for delegates
Visiting Wellington
Visiting New Zealand

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Public Lectures

The Limits of Interpretation in the Law of Contract

Date: 23 February 2016

Time: 5.30 pm

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

A Public Lecture presented by Professor Andrew Robertson
Melbourne University School of Law

In the law of contract questions of risk allocation properly turn, where possible, on interpretation of the agreement. This lecture will explore the limits of that approach. It will do so by considering two doctrines that lie at the boundaries of contract interpretation: the implication of terms in fact and the remoteness principle. Both doctrines have been commonly understood as exercises in gap filling, but in two influential judgments Lord Hoffmann sought to recast them as interpretative principles (Attorney General of Belize v Belize Telecom Ltd [2009] 1 WLR 1988 and Transfield Shipping Inc v Mercator Shipping Inc (‘The Achilleas’) [2009] 1 AC 61). It will be argued that the implication of terms in fact can properly be regarded as an interpretative exercise, but the same cannot be said of the remoteness doctrine. The lecture will also consider why this distinction matters.


A leading scholar on private law issues, Professor Andrew Robertson was appointed to a chair in law at Melbourne University in 2006. His scholarship focuses on the law and theory of obligations, particularly equitable estoppel, the law of contract and the law of negligence. His research on estoppel explores the basis of liability in equitable estoppel, its place within the law of obligations and its remedial consequences. He is co-author of Principles of Contract Law (4th ed, 2012) and Contract: Cases and Materials (12th ed, 2012), and has co-edited several collections of essays on the law of obligations and private law theory, including: The Goals of Private Law (2009), Rights and Private Law (2011) and Divergences in Private Law (forthcoming in 2015). He was Walter S Owen Visiting Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia in 2014 and was a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2016.

RSVP to law-events@vuw.ac.nz to confirm your attendance

Sponsors: Victoria University of Wellington Law Review and The New Zealand Law Foundation.

(Professor Andrew Robertson’s Wellington Lecture is open to the public. It is being hosted in conjunction with the inaugural New Zealand Private Law Scholars' Roundtable, a series of events jointly chaired by Graeme Austin (Victoria University) and Jessica Palmer (Otago University).)

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NZ Centre for Public Law

Public Lectures


Date: 22 February 2016

Time: 12.30 pm

Venue: Seminar Room 07 (GBG07), Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

New Zealand Centre for Public Law Logo Law Foundation Logo

Law Seminar Series

Dr Naomi Creutzfeldt

ESRC Research Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford and Visiting Lecturer, University of Westminster


Adding to the continuous inquiry of socio-legal research to recognize how law is experienced, understood and translated into actions by individuals, this seminar takes a closer look at the institution of ombudsmen (an official body that investigates individuals' complaints against a company (private sector ombudsman) or a public authority (public sector ombudsman)) through the lens of procedural justice and legal consciousness. These concepts are measured empirically as attitudes and perceptions with the aim to get a better understanding of the differences of beliefs, behaviours and actions of European ombudsman users. The theoretical lens of procedural justice and the language of legal consciousness are used as a quantitative and qualitative framework to explore the data.


Naomi is part of the European Civil Justice Systems team at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. She is currently working on an ESRC-funded project ‘Trusting the Middle-man: Impact and Legitimacy of Ombudsmen’ (http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/projects/Ombudsmen). Naomi’s research activities take her across Europe, engaging with ombudsmen, talking at academic conferences and planning knowledge-exchange workshops. Naomi holds a PhD in political science (Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Germany) and a BA and MPCM in International Relations and Public Relations (University of Southern Queensland, Australia).

RSVP http://nzcpl.eventbrite.com

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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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