New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Dershowitz to discuss civil liberties in Auckland

31 January 2018

One of the world’s most renowned lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, is to speak at an exclusive event in Auckland next month.

The American lawyer and academic, who is best known for his role in the OJ Simpson murder trial, will explore the erosion of civil liberties in ‘liberal’ societies and examine how extremism is undermining law.

Presented by MinterEllisonRuddWatts and the Raye Freedman Trust, the free event will be held at the University of Auckland on Wednesday, 14 February.

Alan Dershowitz

MinterEllisonRuddWatts Dispute Resolution and Litigation Partner Zane Kennedy says the firm was pleased to be involved in bringing Professor Dershowitz to New Zealand.

“Many in this country’s legal community are familiar with Professor Dershowitz’s work, have read his books or articles and watched his high profile career with interest. This is an outstanding opportunity to hear this great American litigator, author, civil rights campaigner and jurist share his stories and perspectives firsthand.”

A scholar of United States constitutional law and criminal law, and a leading defender of civil liberties, Professor Dershowitz spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. He held the Felix Frankfurter professorship there from 1993 until 2013.

Professor Dershowitz was involved in several legal cases, and is a commentator on the Arab-Israeli conflict. As a criminal appellate lawyer, he won 13 of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases he handled, and has represented several celebrity clients, including Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst and Jim Bakker.

His most notable cases include his role in overturning the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, and as the appellate adviser for the defence in the OJ Simpson murder trial in 1995.

Professor Dershowitz has authored a number of books about politics and law, including the best-selling The Case for Israel.

In addition to his numerous law review articles and books about criminal and constitutional law, he has written, taught and lectured about history, philosophy, psychology, literature, mathematics, theology, music, sports – and delicatessens.

He says he was influenced to become a lawyer through movies. His father also told him the “Jewish thing to do is defend the underdog,” and therefore being a corporate lawyer was not something that interested him.

A pastrami sandwich at Fenway Park, home of baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, has been named after him.

Last updated on the 1st February 2018