On this page:
- 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
- Victoria’s Law Faculty tops rankings for research quality
- New book explores youth justice in New Zealand
- The Robin Cooke Lecture 2013
- Debating the Constitution
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
16 April 2013
High quality research undertaken by staff at Victoria University’s Faculty of Law has contributed to the University’s ranking as the number one tertiary institution in New Zealand.
“Research by Faculty of Law staff led to our academic unit (the Law Faculty) being ranked the number one law school in New Zealand for research quality,” says Dean of Law, Professor Tony Smith. “This is the result of an enormous amount of hard work.
“It reaffirms the current international recognition that we are the top Law Faculty as judged by the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2012.
“I would like to thank the academic staff, and the general staff who support them, for their dedication. There is so much talent and commitment here and it is wonderful to see it recognised.”
In addition to this faculty specific result, the University was ranked first or second in 24 of the subject areas measured during the PBRF Quality Evaluation. Victoria was ranked second in New Zealand for the subject area of law based on legal research from faculties throughout the University.
19 March 2013
A new book exploring the New Zealand youth justice system has been launched at Victoria University’s Faculty of Law.
“New Zealand is a world leader in its approach to offending by children and youth, but there has been an absence of commentary from a legal perspective,” says Victoria University’s Dr Nessa Lynch, the book’s author.
Youth Justice in New Zealand was written by Dr Lynch, a Senior Lecturer in Victoria’s faculty of Law where she teaches criminal law and criminal justice.
Dr Lynch says the book analyses the operation of the youth justice system, including areas such as the age of criminal responsibility through to interactions with the adult criminal justice system.
It also discusses recent major reforms to the youth justice system, including the changes to prosecution powers for children, and the new and expanded Youth Court orders.
Professor Tony Smith, Dean of the law faculty, says: “Nessa’s book is a wonderful example of the kind of legal research taking place at Victoria, which is grounded in the New Zealand experience, but also has a wider-reaching audience.”
The book will be a valuable resource for lawyers, police, policy-makers and students of the law, as well those working in related fields such as criminology and public policy.
“It will also be of interest to international readers, given New Zealand’s considerable influence in the area of youth justice policy.”
Youth Justice in New Zealand was published by Thomson Reuters NZ Ltd.
For more information, contact Dr Nessa Lynch on (04) 463 6394 or email@example.com.
19 March 2013
Dame Mary Arden delivers the lecture “Press, Privacy and Proportionality” in RH LT1 on March 20 at 5.30pm, followed by refreshments in the Salmond Room, Old Government Buildings.
For more about Dame Mary, click here.
To watch the lecture, click here.
19 March 2013
During April and May, the NZ Centre for Public Law (with generous support and funding from the NZ Law Foundation) will host a series of debates on issues raised by the Government’s review of the New Zealand constitution. The debates will be broadcast on Radio NZ National. Join us on VUW Kelburn campus to be part of our live public audience.
Moderator: Steven Price, barrister
“What’s the problem?” Monday 8 April, Hunter Council Chamber, 6:30pm
Speakers: Professor Bruce Harris, Moana Jackson, Dame Claudia Orange, Dr Matthew Palmer An examination of the origins of the constitutional review, and the process set up to support it. Should we be cynical about its political motives, embrace it as an opportunity for public engagement, neither or both? Do its terms of reference make sense? Is a process like this necessary or desirable? Has the process been set up in a way that could support real change?
“Reforming our democratic institutions” Monday 15 April, Hunter Council Chamber, 6:30pm
Speakers: Dr Maria Bargh, Colin James, Professor Elizabeth McLeay, Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC The constitutional review’s terms of reference include the term of Parliament (and whether it should be fixed), the size of Parliament, the size and number of electorates, and issues relating to Māori electoral representation. The debatees will cover these issues and others that they consider important to the quality and effectiveness of our democratic system.
“Māori aspirations for constitutional change” Monday 22 April, Te Herenga Waka Marae, 6:30pm
Speakers: Tai Ahu, Dr Rawinia Higgins, Veronica Tawhai, Valmaine Toki Four newer voices from the Māori community discuss the nature of Māori aspirations for constitutional change, broadly conceived. The discussion will move well beyond the status of the Treaty of Waitangi, and include consideration of alternative models of Māori-Crown relationships, the development of a kaupapa Māori or tikanga-based constitution, and Māori constitutional aspirations in the context of indigenous peoples’ rights at the international level.
“Human rights in the constitution” Monday 29 April, Hunter Council Chamber, 6:30pm
Speakers: Professor Andrew Geddis, Jack Hodder QC, Stephen Whittington, Professor Margaret Wilson New Zealand has no formal written constitution and its bill of rights is an ordinary law that cannot be used to strike down other laws. Should our Bill of Rights be entrenched and supreme law, or not? Should we have one at all? If so, what other rights should it include? Or not include? In broader terms, what steps ought to be taken to protect the human rights of New Zealanders?
“Time to be a Republic?” Monday 6 May, Hunter Council Chamber, 6:30pm
Speakers: Jim Bolger, Professor Janet McLean, Michael Mabbitt Is it time to replace the Queen as our head of state and become a republic? If not, will it ever be? What would that involve, and what will be the major issues confronting us if and when we do so?
The NZ Centre for Public Law wishes to acknowledge the generous financial support of the NZ Law Foundation for this event.