The Law Faculty at Victoria is finishing 2013 on a high note, with the announcement of Professor Claudia Geiringer’s Marsden Research Fund grant of more than $500,000 to put “the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act under the microscope”.
This grant is, in many ways, emblematic of the faculty in its research excellence, its capital city focus and the resulting engagement with the constitutional core of this country.
“Research-led teaching” is a phrase that is employed a lot in the tertiary sector. In the recent Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) round, Victoria was judged the best law faculty in New Zealand for research.
This is significant in many ways. It is illustrative of a faculty whose academics are intellectually engaged. This in turn means that students benefit from their vitality and enthusiasm for their subject and their study becomes an intellectual adventure that challenges and enriches.
Victoria also performs well in international assessments. In the 2013 QS World University Rankings, it is in the top 20 law faculties in the world. To put that survey in perspective, 700 universities are ranked.
The faculty is proud of these results and the prestige they give to all the hard work and rigour but they are not the only reason for studying at Victoria. Being a law student at Victoria means belonging to the large family that is law, in the city where law is made. There is a rich and rewarding mix of formal and informal encounters with those who make the law, teach the law, practise the law and, above all, enjoy the law.
There are many communities within its legal family: academic staff and their specialist areas; students (debaters, mooters, LSS, Community Justice Project team members, hostel residents); alumni (judges, politicians, senior public service, practitioners) and international visitors.
A common thread is a sense of belonging, from students in the early years of their degrees to fifth-years and graduates. There is a warmth about the environment: the beautiful historic building in which the faculty works and the relationships that develop and sustain it. An example of this inter-connectedness is a Law Students’ Society (LSS) initiative to have an LSS Honours Board. The current President of LSS met several judges at a faculty function earlier this year and mentioned the proposal. Not long after, one of the judges did a whip-around of all judges who are Victoria alumni (Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court) and the Honours Board is a fait accompli.
Key developments for 2014 include introducing block and intensive courses at postgraduate level to assist those who would prefer a more flexible approach to study.
These courses will vary each year and will reflect the particular strengths of Victoria University. In 2014, the focus for the block and intensive courses will be on Public Law, Intellectual Property and International Public and Private Law.
A shining example of Victoria’s strength is “Judiciary”, a course that will be taught by former New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, and will offer students an unparalleled experience of being at the centre of law.
Last updated on the 17th March 2016