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Te Piringa - Faculty of Law

Dean's Report

It’s hard to believe that Associate Professor Wayne Rumblesit's been 25 years since Te Piringa - Faculty of Law students first stepped foot on Waikato University grounds. So much has happened since then and we have a lot to be proud of.

To celebrate the Faculty's 25th anniversary, we have held various events including a sausage sizzle for current law students which was held on the rooftop lawn of the law building.
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law's Anniversary Gala Dinner was also held on 26 August. This was a great opportunity to bring our staff, students, alumni and friends together to reflect on the past 25 years and share our unique stories and memories. It was also a chance to look forward to the future ahead. 

Our Facebook and Linkedin pages will contain updates on our 25th anniversary events and activities throughout the rest of the year, one of which will be a lecture series that will highlight each of the Faculty’s founding principles: professionalism, biculturalism and the study of law in context. 

In August, the Faculty had the honour of hosting international legal scholar, Professor Graham Virgo who provided our students, alumni and Faculty friends with fascinating seminars. Read more.

Law students within the Faculty have also recently had significant achievements in our own local moots as well as at the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) conference. Find out more about their achievements.

Staff, students, alumni and practitioners across the Waikato also attended the annual Harkness Henry Lecture which took place on 7 September. Read more.

Overall, we are very excited about our accomplishments over the past decade and we look forward to celebrating with you throughout the rest of the year.

Associate Professor Wayne Rumbles, Dean
For the latest Faculty news, events and giveaways, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

What's wrong with our justice system?Sir Ron Young presenting at the Harkness Henry Lecture

One of New Zealand’s longest-serving judges, the Honourable Sir Ron Young addressed various issues in New Zealand’s justice system when he gave the annual Harkness Henry Lecture at the University of Waikato on 7 September.

His lecture highlighted how the right of a defendant to a fair trial, and the public’s right to a fair and properly funded criminal justice system has been compromised in recent years and remains vulnerable to further compromise.

“The vulnerability is through a variety of sources including: reduced legal aid for defence lawyers; reduced availability of money for witnesses for the defence; reduced funding for crown solicitors and crown law; the effect of the affecting sentencing trusts lobbying; and some recent legislative changes including the three strikes law,” Sir Ron says.

“The contribution of the media to public understanding or misunderstanding of judicial decisions including sentencing, the police diversion or warning system and the police community justice system in Christchurch are also factors.”

He says the responsibility to challenge these topics falls on the lawyers and legal academics. “I challenge senior lawyers and academics to speak out about the changes which have the potential to undermine the criminal process and the right to a fair trial because nobody else will.”

The Faculty thanks Sir Ron for his address and Harkness Henry Lawyers for their continued support. Watch the lecture here.

Professor Al GillespieAl talks to MPs about gun laws in New Zealand

In late August, Professor Al Gillespie visited Parliament in Wellington to talk to a select committee about gun laws and gun control in New Zealand. 

“With recent religious terrorists and ‘lone wolf’ attacks in Europe and the United States, it’s foreseeable that there will be more gun crime in New Zealand and around the world,” Prof Gillespie says. “The question is, are we doing everything possible that could help prevent this?”

During his visit, Prof Gillespie urged MPs to launch a firearms register, particularly for higher-power weapons and those which could be easily converted and made more dangerous, in order to be able to help detect diversion of firearms from lawful to illegal purposes.

He supported the storage requirements and rules for gun safes being tightened, to represent the best practices available. He says poor or lax storage is the easiest problem to fix. Prof Gillespie also advised a buyback scheme to combat people with unlicensed firearms.  

“We can’t completely stop criminals but we can implement the best practices possible. A good example is the speed limits we have on our roads – it doesn’t completely stop speeding but helps to minimise the risk.”

Professor Barry Barton in NigeriaBarry presents in Nigeria

All over the world communities are asking for a larger share of the profits from energy and mineral resources.

Waikato Law Professor Barry Barton was in Nigeria in late August talking to senior government representatives and energy industry players about new and fairer ways for profit distribution.

Professor Barton is a member of Academic Advisory Group (AAG) of the International Bar Association’s Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL), an international research network focusing on energy and resources issues.

It was AAG research that saw him asked to present in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, at the National Stakeholders’ Summit on Legislative Framework for Petroleum Industry Reform. He reported on the AAG’s recent study into different ways countries are dealing with distribution of costs and benefits and mitigation of environmental damage. Read more.

Law Alumni Networking Event in SamoaSamoan Waikato alumni

Te Piringa - Faculty of Law recently hosted a Waikato Alumni Networking evening at Tanoa, Tusitala Hotel in Samoa.

The Dean of Law, Associate Professor Wayne Rumbles, was joined by the Māori Dean of the Faculty, Associate Professor Linda Te Aho, delegates from the Joint Samoa and Māori
 Law Society Conference, and various  highly regarded Waikato alumni in Samoa. View more photos.

Professor Graham VirgoInternational legal scholar Professor Graham Virgo visits the Faculty

International legal scholar Professor Graham Virgo visited Te Piringa - Faculty of Law to give a public lecture titled “Conscience in Equity – a new Utopia” on 16 August in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

During his lecture, Prof Virgo argued that equitable jurisdiction was founded on conscience. “It is a jurisdiction which remains of profound practical importance in England and New Zealand,” he says.

“But, as the jurisdiction has developed, and although the language of conscience and unconscionability remain the touchstone for equitable intervention, judges and commentators have lost sight of what conscience and unconscionability mean."

Prof Virgo's visit was part of the New Zealand Law Foundation's Distinguished Visiting Fellow award. Each year the Law Foundation provides up to $40,000 towards the visit of the distinguished visiting fellow. Read more.

Sean Goltz at Waikato UniversityNew Lecturer: Sean Goltz

Sean Goltz has joined us from York University in Toronto. He is keen to explore cross-Faculty collaborations in teaching and research. 

His current research focus is virtual environments and gaming with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and privacy. He is also interested in the areas of machine learning and big data.

Sean believes in developing technology-driven legal tools and employing legal entrepreneurship to regulate the harmful effects of technology (especially for children) on one hand, and harness technology for the benefit of the law, on the other hand.

In his future research Sean is hoping to employ legal entrepreneurship in order to develop tools that will facilitate the understanding and implementation of the law and its application to new technologies. “For example, an online privacy game for teens to help them understand what is privacy and how privacy laws work, in order to enhance their protection,” he says. “New technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence are the new frontiers we need to consider in this context.”

Sean completed his BA in Psychology, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws and technology at the University of Haifa, Israel.  
He will be teaching across the core Bachelor of Laws curriculum but also in the Faculty's specialist Cyber and New Technology papers.

Book puts a spotlight on growing gaps in New Zealand's human rightsHuman Rights in New Zealand book cover record

New Zealand is proud of its human rights record with good reason. It was the first country in the world to give women the vote and it played a prominent part in the establishment of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

New Zealand took a leading role in the creation of the world’s newest human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But just how good are things in practice? Are our governments living up to the promises they make when they ratify human rights treaties?

Co-authored by Waikato law Professor Margaret Wilson, human rights lawyer Sylvia Bell and Professor Judy McGregor, Human Rights in New Zealand: Emerging Faultlines is a comprehensive survey of the seven major international human rights treaties which New Zealand has signed and ratified, as well as the Universal Periodic Review.  

Undertaken with the support of the New Zealand Law Foundation, this book concludes that significant faultlines are emerging in the human rights landscape. It sets out an agenda for change with recommendations for practical action.

Winners of the Kaupapa Māori Moot Competition Competition winners

The final of the annual McCaw Lewis Lawyers Kaupapa Māori Mooting Competition was held in the moot court of the new Law Building in August.

The moot topic, set by Te Hunga Roia Māori (the Māori Law Society), was an adaptation of the live case, Haronga v AG involving argument as to whether the Waitangi Tribunal is obliged to use its statutory power to make binding recommendations for the return of Crown Forest lands to claimants where a claim is well-founded.

Waikato alumni Aidan Warren (Director of McCaw Lewis Lawyers) and Judge Craig Coxhead (Judge of the Māori Land Court and recently appointed Judge of the High Court, Cook Islands) judged the final together with Rachel Mullins (Associate at McCaw Lewis Lawyers). All three judges were impressed with the calibre of the six finalists of the competition.

Fourth-year Waikato law student Zac Katene was the overall winner of the competition. He will represent the law school at the National Kaupapa Māori Moot competition in Queenstown in November. Georgia Woodward won the McCaw Lewis trophy for most outstanding mooter in te reo Māori and Aaron Littlejohn was named most promising mooter.

The Faculty thanks McCaw Lewis Lawyers for sponsoring Waikato’s kaupapa Māori mooting programme.  

Waikato law students win Australian negotiation competitionZachary Katene and Jarom Murphy at the competition

Two Waikato law students secured victory over the University of Canterbury, winning the Australian national negotiation competition in Hobart, Tasmania, recently.  

The winning team was made up of Zachary Katene, in his final year of
 studying a Bachelor of Laws with honours and Bachelor of Management Studies with honours, and Jarom Murphy who is in the final year of his law degree.

The former Church College students took on 28 teams. Jarom says the competition was an amazing experience. "In our negotiation classes at Waikato, we were taught to always take a collaborative approach and that was a key part of our strategy," he says. Read more.

Waikato students enter the New Zealand Law Foundation National Family Law Moot Competition
Charley Lunt and Rasyad Che Ismail

The annual New Zealand Law Foundation National Family Law Moot competition has recently been held at Otago University in Dunedin. The two students who were chosen to represent the University at the national competition were Twaddle Trophy Family Law competitors Charley Lunt and Rasyad Che Ismail. 

The national moot topic was an appeal from a lower court declining the return of a child to France pursuant to section 106 of the Care of Children Act 2004.

In the run-up to the competition, the third-year law students benefitted from fantastic advocacy coaching from his Honour Judge Noel Cocurullo in the Hamilton District Court. 

Rasyad says the overall competition was an unforgettable experience. “It was an unforgettable experience listening to Judge Cocurullo’s colourful courtroom stories and general tips for achieving a better presence in Court,” he says. “I hope to put those tips to good use once I enter into the legal world.”

The University of Waikato Mooting Society are extremely grateful for Judge Cocurullo’s time and effort in assisting Charley and Rasyad. The society would also like to thank the staff at the District Court who made this possible, particularly Glenda Buchanan and Sandy Crocker. 

Catching up with Cassandra Mankelow-HancockCassandra Mankelow-Hancock

We caught up with alumna Cassandra Mankelow-Hancock to see where her LLB(Hons) degree from 2004 - 2006 has taken her.

Cassandra  is based in Wellington as a solicitor at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries. The Ministry covers a large range of legislation, and Cassandra’s current areas of focus includes biosecurity, food and animal products.

Cassandra says the skills she gained while doing her law degree at Waikato were highly valuable. “While I was studying my law degree, I worked as a case worker at the Hamilton District Community Law Centre for two years. This helped me significantly to put the theory I had learnt into practice,” she says.

Prior to studying at Waikato, Cassandra was an International Promotions Manager at Trade New Zealand in Auckland. She was made redundant due to a merge of two organisations. 

“Getting made 
redundant was a blessing in disguise. It enabled me to really think about what I was going to do for the next 20 or 30 years.”

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Want to refresh or develop your skills in law?

The Faculty will be teaching various intensive summer school papers from 7 November to Friday 16 November 2016 including:
  • Law and New Technologies (LAWS492)
  • Mediation: Law, Principles and Practice (LAWS449)
  • Immigration and Refugee Law (LAWS417)
  • Judicial Remedies (LAWS572) *Note: There will be one week of lectures for this course; then for the rest of the semester you will write a paper and present it on a topic of your choice.
For further information, please contact law reception
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law's 25th anniversary gala function
La Belle Époque Law Ball 2016
Proudly supported by The College of Law
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