One of the core statutory functions of the Law Society is to “assist and promote, for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand, the reform of the law”.
To achieve this the Law Society relies on the hard work and commitment of its committee members who volunteer their time and expertise for the benefit of the profession and the wider community. As a result, the Law Society has a reputation for making an impartial, considered and valued contribution to law reform, the administration of justice and the rule of law.
The NZLS Law Reform Committee, with assistance from the specialist committees and the Family Law and Property Law Sections, prepares submissions on behalf of the legal profession and in the public interest.
The Law Society makes submissions on many bills referred to select committee and on discussion papers from government agencies and the Law Commission. It also maintains open communication with the government on administration of justice and rule of law issues.
The Law Reform Committee comprises members with a passion for law reform work, augmented by the convenors of the NZLS specialist committees, and the Chairs of the Property Law and Family Law Sections.
There are 16 specialist committees providing subject matter expertise to the Law Reform Committee on the following areas of law:
NZLS law reform is very busy. In the year to 30 June 2019, the Law Society made submissions on 20 bills, appeared at 9 select committee hearings, and commented on 61 consultation documents from government departments, the Law Commission and other statutory bodies.
The workload of committees can vary. Committee members need to be flexible and available to contribute as the need arises, sometimes at short notice.
Applications are open to all members and associate members of the Law Society who have a passion for law reform, and skills, interest and expertise in a relevant area of law, as well as the time and energy to commit. If you are interested in playing an important role in New Zealand law reform then NZLS committee membership is one way of achieving this. Involvement in NZLS committees is also an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.