Amicus Curiae: Can anyone ever win in the Court of Public Opinion?

By Eve Gamet Definition: The court of public opinion refers to the use of news media to influence public support for one side or the other in a court case. This can result in people outside the justice system taking action for or against a party. Fundamental to justice is the right to a fair trial and the presumption of …

Amicus Curiae: Close to Home: The Inquiry into New Zealander Forces in Afghanistan

By Anuja Mitra It is probably fair to say that the average New Zealander spends little time thinking about our armed forces. In many ways, we consider ourselves disengaged from the conflict unfolding in other parts of globe. This assumption may change in light of the government inquiry into Operation Burnham, a 2010 mission the NZDF (New Zealand Defence Forces) …

Cross-Examination: Let down by the system: What else can be done to protect sexual assault survivors in the criminal justice system?

By Eve Gamet The criminal justice system has historically been a difficult space for victims of sexual violence. In a process that focuses much on cross-examination, remembering meticulous details, and recounting distressing events in a public space, the court system is arguably flawed. Sexual violence incidents are massively unreported, and only 13% of recorded incidents actually result in conviction.[1] With …

Cross-Examination: The Madness of the Insanity Defence

By Ben Bowley-Drinnan The defence of insanity can be found in s 23 of the Crimes Act 1961.[1] In practice, the defence means that the defendant did not have the mental capacity to commit an offence, and hence results in complete exculpation. However, in recent years the insanity defence has been increasing in use,[2] and groups such as the Sensible …

Amicus Curiae: Life in Plastic is Not so Fantastic

By Emily Davidson Most people know that plastic bags are bad for the environment. Yet we continue to use them on a daily basis. This is not because people don’t care about the environment. It is because we are not confronted with the reality of the consequences. Plastic bags are so ubiquitous and convenient that we accept them without a …

Cross-Examination: New Zealand’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

By Georgia Osmond   Disability law is a highly specialised area of human rights law, and focuses on securing equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Disability Convention) was created in 2007, with the purpose of “promot(ing), protect(ing), and ensur(ing) the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights …

Amicus: Bourgeoisie Values: ESG Corporate Strategy

BY OLIVIA FISHER Corporate sustainability is an approach that considers long-term performance by implementing a strategy that analyses every ethical dimension of business operations in the environmental and social affairs. Corporate sustainability has been disputed on several grounds: as an oxymoron, as a means of imposing a specific political view or as a distraction from addressing pressing social problems. Regardless, …

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 …

Cross-Examination: What is the Iran Deal? Why Did Trump Withdraw? Why Should You Care?

BY RACHEL BUCKMAN Donald Trump made his opinions clear from the moment he stepped into the political arena in 2016. He had many complaints, including the United States’ role in the Iran Deal. His predecessor Barak Obama, who negotiated the agreement, saw the Iran Deal as “one of his most important accomplishments.”[1] Trump disagreed, labelling it the “worst deal ever.”[2] …