On this page:
- Sir Owen Woodhouse
- The Palmer Papers
- Latest Legal Research Papers
- Copyright conference
- Research news
- Distinguished alumnus recognised
- Their Honours do the honours
- Welcome to Erin Carr
- Top Team at the Faculty
- Sustainability Conference
- Be Very Impressed
- Welcome Dr Guy Sinclair
- Constitutional Necessity or Constant Nuisance?
- Professor Susy Frankel gives the Fenwick and West Lecture in Intellectual Property
- National University of Singapore appoints Graeme Austin as the Yong Shook Lin Visting Professor in Intellectual Property
- V.Alum 2013
- Alumnus garners top prize
- International Arbitration expert visits
- The VUWLR celebrates its 60th Anniversary
- Robin Cooke Lecture
- A significant birthday
- Top students
- A major research project
- Call for Expressions of Interest – contributions to a special issue of VUWLR
- Invitation to the launch of Te Mātāpunenga
- A win for Māori Legal Dictionary
- Law Prospectus 2014
- 'Unearthing New Zealand's Constitutional Traditions'
- Congratulations to our law students
- ‘Know Your Mind’
- Victoria law student shares her unique story
- Maori Law Review Indigenous Law Speaker Series
- Law Alumna earns traineeship at International Court of Justice
- Thomson Reuters Summer Tax Scholarship Application Open
- Safety information in light of recent Earthquakes
- New Toolkit aids better regulation in New Zealand
- Launch of Legal Māori Dictionary
- Law at Victoria scores well in international ranking system
- The Power of Two
- Two more electives added to the summer trimester
16 April 2014
Sir Owen Woodhouse, a decorated World War II hero, former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judge, Privy Councillor, architect of ACC and Victoria law alumnus, has died. He was 97.
He earned an LLB in 1942 and a Hon LLD in 1978.
Sir Owen was a decorated naval officer in World War II, receiving a Distinguished Service Cross for operations in the Adriatic, before embarking on a long and distinguished career as a jurist at the highest level.
He is best known for chairing the Royal Commission on Accident Compensation, authoring the Woodhouse Report, which recommended a no-fault accident compensation scheme for New Zealand.
8 April 2014
Victoria University’s Faculty of Law has just published Constitutional Law, Government and Reform, Part i of the collected papers of the Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Distinguished Fellow of the Victoria University of Wellington Law Faculty and a former Prime Minister.
The collection gathers Sir Geoffrey’s approximately 80 scholarly papers, sorted into Parts according to subject. The Parts will be published over 2014 and 2015. Part I contains a book, Unbridled Power (1979), a chapter, and four journal articles. In addition to the original text the editors have included an abstract of each paper.
Editing was by Professor John Prebble, and two senior law students, Vanessa Haggie (abstracting) and Laura Lincoln (categorisation and publication). The project is funded by an anonymous donation, which is gratefully acknowledged.
The Palmer Papers are distributed on behalf of the Faculty by email, by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) of Rochester, New York, as issues of the e-journal, Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Papers. Parts will be progressively available as electronic archives on the Faculty’s research pages, as a service to alumni and to the legal profession. The Palmer Papers join the Richardson Papers, published in a similar project, which will be completed in 2014.
Subscription to Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Papers, including the Richardson and Palmer papers, is free, here.
31 March 2014
The latest issue of the VUW e-journal has been released. See PDF below.
Volume 4 (2014)
- Issue 5 - The Recognition of Māori Law in Treaty of Waitangi Settlements, the Māori Land Court, and New Zealand Public Life: Papers by Dr Carwyn Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, Victoria University of Wellington.
25 March 2014
Graeme Austin was selected by the Australian Copyright Council to provide commentary on a major address by the U.S. Copyright Register, Hon. Maria Pallante at the peak body’s recent Sydney Conference.
Ms Pallante was appointed to lead the Copyright Office by President Obama in 2011. Her speech set out the U.S. legislative agenda in the copyright field. Fellow commentators were leading Australian academics, Profs Sam Ricketson (Melbourne University) and Melissa de Zwart (Dean of Adelaide Law School.)
24 March 2014
A new edition of the Victoria University of Wellington’s Legal Research Papers Series has just published, this one featuring the work of Professor Gordon Anderson, including his recent analysis of the good faith obligation in New Zealand’s labour law: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=898231.
This series, edited by John Prebble provides a regular showcase of the faculty’s scholarship. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/JelJour_Results.cfm?form_name=journalBrowse&journal_id=1865415
12 March 2014
Pre–eminent public international law, human rights and criminal law scholar, Professor Roger Clark, is to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Victoria University of Wellington’s May graduation.
Former Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says the honorary doctorate, conferred by the Victoria University Council, acknowledges Professor Clark’s exemplary commitment to teaching, international public service and research during his career.
The first member of his family to go to university, Professor Clark graduated from Victoria in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. He added a Master of Laws in 1967, and has since gained a further three degrees: a Doctor of Laws from Victoria in 1997, along with a Master of Laws and a Doctorate in Juridical Science from Columbia University in New York.
Professor Clark has written or edited 12 books, authored and co-authored more than 130 articles and book chapters, and played a significant role in international human rights law—especially in helping to establish the International Criminal Court in The Hague. “It is particularly exciting to be conferred an honorary doctorate from Victoria as it has been 50 years since my initial graduation, and I am now 50 years into my law teaching career,” says Professor Clark.
11 March 2014
The Law Students’ Society (LSS) has just unveiled its “George Barton QC Law Competition Winners” honours board.
The late George Barton QC was a former Professor at the Faculty, noted practitioner and “father” of the legal profession in Wellington.
Judges who are alumni of the Faculty donated the honours board to the LSS in his memory.
Present at the unveiling event were (pictured below) Mrs Ailsa Barton, Hon Justice Mark O’Regan, LSS President Myles Snaddon and Dean of Law, Professor Tony Smith.
Hon Justices Clifford, O’Regan, France, Arnold, Wilde, Collins.
Recent law competition prize winners.
24 February 2014
21 February 2014
Academic and general staff at the Faculty have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the University.
20 February 2014
The Faculty recently hosted a successful conference “New Thinking on Sustainabilty.”
There was a wide range of both speakers and attendees, including lawyers, scientists, policy-makers, academic faculty and students, government and regional Councillors, environmental NGO members and activists, from New Zealand, Australia and USA.
7 February 2014Read about a day in the life of a research-intensive Law School (Victoria).
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All PDF documents require Acrobat Reader.
5 February 2014
We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest Academic staff member, Dr. Guy Fiti Sinclair.
Guy has joined us after earning his B.A., LL.B. (Hons) and LL.M. (First Class Hons.) degrees from the University of Auckland, and a J.S.D. from New York University.
Before undertaking his doctoral studies, Guy worked for over 10 years as a corporate and commercial lawyer in leading U.S., English and Australasian firms, and in a variety of in-house roles.
Guy’s principal area of teaching and research is public international law.
5 February 2014Retiring Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff’s recent public lecture at the Law School has attracted much comment and attention. For a full transcript of her speech, click here.
4 February 2014
Professor Susy Frankel recently gave the Fenwick and West Lecture in Intellectual Property at Vanderbilt Law School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The lecture was titled “The International Copyright Problem” and was sponsored by Fenwick and West and the Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Programme.
National University of Singapore appoints Graeme Austin as the Yong Shook Lin Visting Professor in Intellectual Property
30 January 2014
Professor Graeme W Austin, Chair in Private Law, will be visiting the National University of Singapore in February, appointed to the Yong Shook Lin visiting professorship in intellectual property. He will be teaching an intensive course on Private International Law of Intellectual Property and delivering a seminar on territoriality in trademark law at the Asia Law Centre.
17 December 2013
The Faculty’s major annual publication, V.Alum, has just been published.
V.Alum contains features about research projects, conferences and significant events.
Please see the attached pdf.
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16 December 2013The Faculty is thrilled about the achievement of a recent alumnus, Sam McMullan.
Sam has just received the NZ Law Foundation’s Cleary prize, one of this country’s top legal honours.
It is awarded to a young barrister or solicitor judged as giving the most promise of service to and through the New Zealand legal profession.
13 December 2013A recent visitor, Professor Catherine Rogers, was interviewed by Linda Clark at a public session at the Faculty.
The interview centred on Professor Rogers’ involvement with the newly-created Jerusalem Arbitration Centre.
The Centre is developing innovative legal solutions to deal with disputes arising from the annual $5 billion trade between Israel and Palestine.
12 December 2013
The VUWLR, New Zealand’s oldest academic law review, celebrates its 60th Anniversary by showcasing the scholarship of the leading legal scholars who comprise the Faculty of Law.
It features a Preface by the Dean of Law, Professor Tony Smith.
Dr Nessa Lynch, the Managing Editor says: “The Special Issue provides a snapshot of the research and writing of the Victoria University of Wellington Law Faculty of 2013. Over half the Faculty contributed their work, ranging from short reflective pieces to full length articles. We also include the Foreword and Editorial Board for the first issue in 1953.”
11 December 2013
The recent Robin Cooke Lecture was given by the Dean of Law, Professor Tony Smith: “New Zealand Law Now”.
It was attended by many of the legal community. See here for photos.
7 November 2013
The New Zealand Universities Law Review is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first publication with a Special Anniversary issue.
The Editor of the Special Anniversary edition is Professor Tony Smith, Dean of Law at Victoria University. Contributors include Justice Grant Hammond (Judges and Academics); Sir Geoffrey Palmer (Constitutional Reflections on 50 years of the Ombudsmen in New Zealand); Professor John Burrows (Academics and Law Reform) and Don Mathieson (Fair Criminal Trial and Exclusion of “Unfair Evidence”).
The theme of the Special Anniversary issue is taken from a Maori saying: Nga tapuwae o mua, no muri which translate as “Footprints of the past, to guide (influence, navigate, inform) the future.”
Don Mathieson QC has the distinction of being published in both the first edition of NZULR (Australian Precedents in New Zealand Courts) in August, 1963 and the Special Anniversary issue. Other contributors to Vol 1, No 1 include G. P. Barton (The Chancery Master); B.D. Inglis (Evidence of Adultery) and Sir Alfred North (Parliaments and Great Councils).
“There is a focus on new and emerging scholars in both the Special Anniversary issue and the seminar” says Editor, Professor Tony Smith.
“This is in keeping with the theme of looking to the past and, at the same time, forward to the future. The quality of their contributions bodes well for the outlook of the legal academy in this country.”
5 November 2013
The prizewinning students from 2012 and the competition winners from 2013 attended the Dean’s Reception, an annual event which celebrates their achievements.
For a list of the prizewinning students, click here: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/study/awards-scholarships
4 November 2013Warm congratulations to Professor Claudia Geiringer, who has been awarded a Marsden research grant for her project: “Bill of Rights under the Microscope".
30 September 2013
Early in 2014 the VUWLR will dedicate a Special Issue in commemoration of Harriette Vine, the first women to graduate with a law degree from Victoria University (then Victoria College) in 1913. To mark this occasion, the Wellington Women Lawyers Association (WWLA), in conjunction with the Law Faculty, awarded two essay prizes for contributions which addressed the challenges for current women law graduates. The award ceremony was combined with a panel discussion featuring a number of prominent women graduates from Victoria on 19 September 2013 - marking 120 years since women's suffrage in New Zealand.
For full details please see the below document.
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30 September 2013
25 September 2013
He Papakupu Reo Ture: A dictionary of Māori legal terms has won the Te Reo category of the 2013 Ngā Kupu Ora, Aotearoa Māori Book Awards.
The awards ceremony will be held in November, where the organisers say “they will be honoured to be able to celebrate (Māmari’s) contribution and inspiration to others in bringing Maori literature into the world of light.”
20 September 2013
13 September 2013
The NZ Centre for Public Law conference 'Unearthing New Zealand's Constitutional Traditions' was held at Parliament on 29 and 30 August. A number of excellent papers were presented, including by the keynote speakers Andrew Sharp and David Hackett Fischer. Participants complimented the organisers for putting together a programme including academic and practising lawyers, historians, and political theorists, which allowed for a range of views and perspectives on our constitutional traditions to be identified and discussed.
Draft papers from the conference are available for download here. A selection of these will be published in due course. The keynote addresses are available for viewing here. Other video from the conference will be made available shortly.
Thanks to the Law Foundation for their financial support.
9 September 2013
Warm congratulations to law students Duncan McLachlan, Asher Emanuel and Jodie O’Neill.
Duncan won the award for the Best Senior Mooter at the NZLSA competition. This is, of course, a great feat since the Senior Mooting is undoubtedly regarded as the premier competition.
Asher Emanuel and Jodie O‘Neill won the grand final of the New Zealand Initiative Next Generation Debates.
Asher also won the Best Speaker title in the final, arguing the negative in the topic “If you are young and ambitious you should leave New Zealand.”
19 August 2013
The university’s ‘Know Your Mind’ marketing campaign is being rolled out.
Karin McCracken is the face of law
Karin McCracken had no perception of what a lawyer did when she enrolled at Victoria’s Law School.
“I didn’t even know the difference between commercial law and criminal law. In fact, all I really knew about law was from the TV show Boston Legal – I was ready for cigars and whisky each night after work!”
But it turned out to be a good choice for the now fifth year student.
“At Victoria, you’re at the centre of everything you’re studying. From the front steps you can see the Supreme Court to your left, the High Court to your right, the Court of Appeal and the Beehive straight in front of you. You’re studying in a huge wooden building that used to house the government and Sir Geoffrey Palmer is often seen roaming the halls.”
Studying law also strengthened Karin’s communication skills to the point where she felt confident enough to take up religious studies in her second year and law tutoring in her third year.
“I value the interaction I have with students on a daily basis as a tutor. I enjoy taking material that might be confusing or difficult for students and making it easier to understand.”
Karin sees parallels between law and religious studies: “Both have given me a really good understanding and a greater perception of how the world fits together and how other people see the world, which is important when you’re trying to relate to people”.
Karin says she is a different person today because of her study.
“Victoria has taught me to keep my head and be analytical and reasoned in the way I approach life. When I started studying, I knew next to nothing but I can honestly say my whole view of the world has radically shifted since starting at Victoria.”
9 August 2013
Victoria University student Thoraya Abdul-Rassol will share her unique story with New Zealanders in a documentary screening on TV3 this weekend.
The programme, Both Worlds, follows Thoraya, a second-year law student, as she prepares to move away from home for the first time, and overcome her fear of racial discrimination.
Thoraya’s family left Iraq in the 1990s, to seek a peaceful life for their family. They arrived in Auckland in 1995, when Thoraya was just one year old. She is now 19.
The story focuses on Thoraya’s move from Auckland to Wellington to pursue her university studies, and her passion for soccer. It explores the challenges she faced moving to a new city and meeting likeminded friends.
“I actually felt pretty comfortable filming the programme, because it was such a good opportunity for me to tell my story,” says Thoraya.
Thoraya says she chose to study law because she hopes to make a positive difference for people who experience discrimination.
“Studying law has made me more resilient. For me, it represents the chance to be able to help educate others—I’ve learnt that you don’t have to accept anything.”
“I love studying at Victoria. I feel like I really belong, and people are interested to find out who I am,” she says.
In between her studies, Thoraya has been pursuing her passion for soccer, playing for the Island Bay United AFC Orcas team, which she says has been great for improving her self-confidence.
She also loves exploring her new home town: “One of my favourite things is just being able to walk by the waterfront—it’s my favourite place.”
Both Worlds screens on Saturday mornings on TV3. Each episode profiles a young person from one of New Zealand’s refugee or migrant communities who is facing a defining moment in their life. Participants use handicams to record their thoughts, feelings and opinions to give an insight into the hopes and fears their generation faces.
The Both Worlds episode featuring Thoraya Abdul-Rassol screens on Saturday 10 August at 10.25am on TV3.
5 August 2013
Maori Law Review Indigenous Law Speaker Series
1:40pm-2:30pm, first four Fridays in August
Te Kauwae Parāoa, Level 2, Law Library
Victoria University of Wellington.
For full details please see the below document.
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5 August 2013
Warmest congratulations to law alumna Amelia Keene, who is understood to be the first New Zealand to earn a traineeship at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Amelia graduated in May this year from Columbia Law School with an LLM and as a Kent Scholar. She also earned a Parker School Certificate for Achievement in International and Comparative Law, and was awarded a Sabin Travel Grant to support the presentation of some of her research at the recent IUCN Environmental Law Conference.
Amelia was the NZLF Ethel Benjamin Scholar for 2012. She is currently working in OGB as a Research Assiatnet for Campbell McLachlan. She leaves for The Hague in September, with all out best wishes.
1 August 2013
The Victoria University of Wellington and Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd offer two scholarships to suitably qualified candidates to work on a book on fundamental concepts of taxation law during the summer of 2013 to 2014. These two scholarships are part of the VUW summer scholarship programme to be advertised later in 2013, but are advertised early. If this early advertisement does not result in the appointment of suitable candidates to one or both of the Thomson Reuters Summer Taxation Scholarships, one or two scholarships will be re-advertised as part of Victoria University’s main round of advertisements for summer scholarships for 2013 - 2014.
Please see the below document for further information.
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31 July 2013
There is a new page on the Law School website which contains the up-to-date and site specific information given in the recent post-quake briefings. It can be accessed here.
5 July 2013
An important new weapon in the ongoing battle to achieve effective regulation in New Zealand has been launched.
The New Zealand Law Foundation Regulatory Reform Toolkit provides anyone interested in quality regulation with easily accessible, free online tools to help analyse regulatory problems, along with user-friendly access to detailed research about regulation.
The toolkit, formally launched by Finance Minister Hon Bill English, is the final output of a three year, $1.85 million study of the challenges around regulation in New Zealand.
The multi-disciplinary study team was led by Professor Susy Frankel of Victoria University Law Faculty, and included experts from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and law firm Chapman Tripp.
Law Foundation Chair Dr Andrew Butler says the Foundation launched the project in 2010 because the subject was so important, yet under-researched in New Zealand.
“Regulation affects the cost and quality of most of the goods and services we use every day,” he says. “The cost of regulatory failure can be spectacular – the leaky buildings debacle is just one example of that.”
“As an open, globally connected and trade-dependent society, New Zealanders expect first-world regulatory standards, yet our small size can make it difficult to sustain complex regulatory mechanisms used in other developed economies.”
“This toolkit helps overcome that by drawing together the best available experience from here and overseas on the regulatory issues that confront us.”
“The Regulatory Reform Project has been supported by Government ministers, and the project team has worked with officials from Treasury and other agencies throughout, because of the important contribution it makes to the regulatory reform agenda.”
Dr Butler says that as New Zealand’s only truly independent funder of legal research, the Law Foundation is the only funding body that can support major, multi-year research projects like this.
“Our projects are not connected to political or commercial agendas, but can deliver real value for New Zealanders,” he says.
“Before this, we initiated the $3 million Human Genome Research Project at Otago University, a three year study of the complex and challenging legal issues around the rapidly-evolving field of genetic research, and we have supported cutting-edge research on criminal justice and family proceedings.” Dr Butler says.
The Regulatory Reform Toolkit can be found at www.regulatorytoolkit.ac.nz.
7 June 2013
New Zealand’s first bilingual dictionary of Māori legal terms has just been launched at Victoria University's Faculty of Law.
He Papakupu Reo Ture: A Dictionary of Māori Legal Terms is the latest result of a five-year research initiative—the Legal Māori Project—headed by Senior Lecturer, Māmari Stephens, and Dr Mary Boyce from University of Hawai'i, Mānoa Campus.
The research team comprised 48 researchers, reviewers and advisors over the course of the Project.
"This Project reflects the fact that New Zealand's legal history is bilingual," says Māmari.
"From the earliest missionary-led translations of the New Testament in the early 19th-century, the Māori language has been used to communicate Western legal ideas."
Dean of Law, Professor Tony Smith, says: "The dictionary will help eradicate at least one barrier to the contemporary use of the Māori language in the legal domain: the lack of a widely disseminated and generally available legal vocabulary for use in any legal forum."
"It is a work that is of importance to New Zealand, to Māori speakers and the University. Its potential impact is great—it will, in short, allow a Māori voice in a legal context in a way never before possible."
20 May 2013
The Faculty of Law at Victoria University continues its success in university rankings, being placed 19th in the world in the 2013 QS World University Rankings.
Other subjects in which Victoria is in the top 50 are Politics and International Relations (41), English Language and Literature (44), and Psychology (49).
The results follow the recent Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Evaluation, which ranked Victoria first among New Zealand universities for research.
20 May 2013
Warmest congratulations to Faculty staff members David Jones and Tai Ahu.
Tai Ahu has completed his LLM with Distinction.
David, after a successful examination has now filed his completed LLM Dissertation: Whakapapa membership and post settlement governance entities : the erosion of whakapapa as the heart of Māori institutions?
The thesis has been catalogued and an electronic version deposited in the Institutional Repository’s Restricted Archive. Link to the catalogue: http://victoria.lconz.ac.nz/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1553497
15 May 2013