New Zealand Law Society - Criminal Litigation Intensive Programme

Criminal Litigation Intensive Programme


Time: 11.30am - 4.15pm

Limited to 15 participants


Participants will be given a fact pattern of a criminal charge and will be asked to use this to undertake tasks involving examination in chief, cross examination, and sentencing submissions.

The aim is to give participants practical experience in undertaking a defended hearing in the criminal jurisdiction, however many of the skills and techniques are also transferable to the Family Court jurisdiction.

Enrolments are restricted to 15 practitioners and aimed at new practitioners with 0-5 years’ experience. The course will run for most of the day during the conference with a break for lunch.


Friday 3 May 2024

6:00pm Welcome drinks and nibbles at Leisure Lodge Dunedin

Saturday 4 May 2024

8:30am Registration Opens

Conference opening and welcome: Dale Lloyd - Otago Branch President
Law Society Update: Frazer Barton Law Society President and Katie Rusbatch Law Society CEO
Keynote: Justice Glazebrook – Courage amidst chaos: The mission to save the Afghan Women Judges
Closing comments: Richard Smith – Southland Branch President

11.00am Morning Tea

 Criminal litigation intensive commences

1:30pm Lunch 

 Criminal litigation intensive continues

4:15pm Conclusion of programme

6:00pm Dinner

Bus departs for dinner at Larnach Castle

Faculty Members

Judge Russell Walker

Judge Walker was appointed to the bench in Invercargill in October 2019 with Jury, General Criminal, Family and Youth warrants/designations having practised for many years in Palmerston North. Born and bred in Christchurch he has now made his way back to the mainland. He enjoys music, motorcycling and spending time with family and friends.

Louise Denton

Louise is a Principal at TODD & WALKER LAW Queenstown heading both our criminal and family teams. Louise grew up in Dunedin and after graduating from the University of Otago and being admitted in 2007, Louise worked as a Crown Prosecutor, then switched to the defence bar initially working at the Public Defence Service before going into private practice in Queenstown. Louise has PAL 3 Legal Aid Provider status and is a Duty Lawyer in the criminal jurisdiction and a court-appointed Lawyer for Child in the family jurisdiction.

John Westgate

John was admitted in 1980 and has practiced as a criminal defence barrister for more than twenty years specialising in jury trials and appeal work.

Sarah Saunderson-Warner

Sarah is a Barrister who specialises in criminal law and practices in Dunedin. Sarah has practiced criminal law for more than 20 years and has a wide range of experience in all aspects of criminal law

Convenor - Richard Smith

Richard was admitted to the bar in 2005. He is a barrister at Montrose Chambers, Invercargill, practising in the areas of criminal and family litigation. Richard is President of the Southland branch of the New Zealand Law Society and has been on Council since 2016. He is also an executive committee member of the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society.