Amicus Curiae: In Defence of Free Speech

BY AKHIL PARASHAR The right to free speech is the right to express one’s opinions without censorship or restraint. Free speech allows us to engage in debates, which is integral to arriving at the truth. Recent events surrounding the “deeply religious” rugby player, Israel Folau, have sparked debate around when dialogue becomes hate speech or harassment. It is vital to …

Amicus: Investigating Taika Waititi’s claim: is New Zealand racist?

By Nithya Narayanan Earlier this year, New Zealand director Taika Waititi (of Thor: Ragnarok fame) said: “New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it’s a racist place”. Elaborating on this proposition, Waititi made reference to a number of features, including an unwillingness to pronounce Maori names properly, and widespread racial profiling of Polynesian individuals. He also alluded …

Event & Research Paper: “Retribution vs Restoration” Symposium

Our first symposium of the year Check out the photos from the Access Team’s first symposium of the year, “Retribution vs Restoration: What is the future of the prison system in New Zealand?” It was so popular we had attendees standing at the back! Thank you all for attending, including above all our very lively panel, which featured Justice Whata …

Amicus Curiae: How Could New Zealand’s Tax System Promote Social Justice?

By James Adams Our country’s tax system raised about $80 billion last year for the government to spend on improving the living standards of New Zealanders. However, tax can be more than merely a way to raise revenue: it can also be used to promote social justice and other policy outcomes through its design. For example, the progressive nature of …

Amicus Curaie: Social Media and the Cost of Privacy

By Patricia Lu Social media platforms and the privilege they have over our data is the elephant in the room that’s finally being talked about. With the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the commencement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe on May 25, it is important to understand the extent of how our privacy is being used for …

Amicus Curiae: Exploitation or Ejection: The Legal Status of Migrant Sex Workers

By Amy Dresser Immigration New Zealand recently made the news for including, and then excluding, sex work on a skilled employment list. However, this sheds light on the bigger issue regarding the legal protection of sex workers on temporary work visas in New Zealand. Legal status of sex workers in New Zealand Sex work was legalised by the Prostitution Reform …

Amicus Curaie: Online Media and the Omnipresent Clickbait Issue

By Georgia Osmond It is universally acknowledged that the media plays a crucial role in many Western democracies. Known as the ‘fourth estate’, its role is to hold government, the courts and other public bodies to account, and provide the public with access to information they may not normally be able to access. Media publishers are given certain privileges that …

Amicus Curiae: The Pandora’s Box: Reforming the Official Information Act

By Ben Bowley-Drinnan Information is arguably a necessity of life, as it informs our every action. That is why the statement “Information is power” exists. Furthermore, if there is to be effective accountability of those in power, official information is a valuable tool, as it allows discussion of actions and justifications for those actions to be understood. The Official Information …

Amicus: Syrian Airstrikes and the Fragility of International Law

By Haya Khan Saviour in the Aggressor’s cloak? If by any chance you’ve been living under some magical rock where you’ve been able to avoid all 2018 has to offer, such as Fortnite, the yodelling kid and US launching airstrikes on Syria for the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, let’s talk. No, World War Three hasn’t started but …

Amicus: Why the Mega-Prison Won’t Work

By Valeeria Slaiman The New Zealand government is on the verge of making a decision that may potentially lead to the further detriment of the criminal justice system. The former National government instigated plans to build a mega prison in Waikato, this being the biggest prison that New Zealand has ever seen, accommodating 3000 inmates. With Labour now in office, …