Cross Examination: Andrew Little & New Zealand’s Defamation Laws

BY HANNAH YANG The reach of qualified privilege as a defence to a defamation claim and the conflict between free speech and personal reputation has recently come under scrutiny by the courts once again. In Hagaman v Little, or the Andrew Little defamation case, as it is more popularly known, Clark J ruled that comments made by a person in …

Amicus Curiae: The Ninth Floor: Reflections on Former New Zealand Prime Ministers

BY JAMES ADAMS In less than two months, New Zealand will be having a General Election, and New Zealanders will decide who will lead our country for the next three years. Here, as elsewhere, the cacophony of sound-bites can make it hard to understand exactly what it is like to be Prime Minister. How easy is it to effect change? …

Amicus Curiae: The New Ministry for Vulnerable Children is Not Exempt From Criticism

BY ALEX SIMS On the 31st March, the official implementation of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, (Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry), took place, replacing Child, Youth and Family (CYFs). The Minister for Children, Anne Tolley, welcomed the new Ministry stating that it “puts children and young people’s safety and wellbeing first”. Anne Tolley claims that the new Ministry is the …

The Equal Justice Project Presents: The Opening Function 2017 & Annual Hui

THE OPENING FUNCTION To kick off the year, we participated in a Pōwhiri with the wonderful team from the Waipapa Marae, as well as the members of Te Rākau Ture, Ngā Tauira Māori and Te Aro Ture. This was a precursor to our 2017 Hui the following day.   Once officially welcomed, we moved into the hall to eat, drink, and listen …

Law Students: the Silent Struggle with Mental Health and Wellbeing

By Haya Khan ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ is one of the multiple mental health groups from the University of Auckland. The Warriors aim to promote positive discussion around issues of mental health and spread awareness by creating an inclusive atmosphere within law school. In doing so, they hope to lower stress levels and anxieties that are rarely discussed but which are collectively …

Cross-Examination: New Zealand’s Rapidly Increasing Prison Population

By Olivia Folu June 2017 was the deadline set for the Government’s goal of reducing reoffending by 25%. However, as of May 2017, the reoffending rates had only decreased by 4.5%[1]. Despite the government’s goal, the prison population increased by 1454 between 2014 and 2016 alone. With the prison population, as of December 2016 at 9,914[2], this will likely be …

Amicus Curiae: Keeping a Check on Parliament: the Decision of Attorney-General v Taylor

BY ANUJA MITRA In New Zealand, Parliament is supreme. Technically, this means that it can pass even the most rights-abridging legislation without backlash — or can it? The decision this year of Attorney-General v Taylor confirmed that where a court finds that an Act of Parliament contravenes a fundamental right in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA), …

Amicus Curiae: Letting the Few Decide for the Many: The Latest Euthanasia Bill

BY JASPER LAU The current euthanasia debate in New Zealand began in 2015, following Lecretia Seales’ public plight to clarify the state of New Zealand’s law on euthanasia after her brain tumour became terminal. Lecretia applied to the High Court to ask whether she had the option of having a doctor’s help to die if her suffering became intolerable. In …

Amicus Curiae: Double Trouble? The Risk of Private Prosecutions

BY CHRIS RYAN Private prosecutions are a rare feature of New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Private prosecutions are prosecutions started by private individuals, rather than the police or other prosecuting authorities. However, a Court decision in March 2016 has the potential to support an increased number of private prosecutions. The Court of Appeal upheld Tamsin Trainor’s private prosecution against Neihana …