In a first for the New Zealand Bar Association, its annual conference is to be held in conjunction with the Australian Bar Association.
The 2019 conference – being held in Queenstown on 23-34 August - has the theme “Antipodean Advocacy: Trans-Tasman Perspectives”.
NZBA President, Kate Davenport QC, says that the respective bodies have been working on fostering closer ties for several years and the joint event is a “natural and welcome extension of this valuable relationship”.
NZBA Conference Committee Chair, Simon Foote, says the conference will explore areas of convergence between the Australian and New Zealand legal systems, as well as investigate the responses on both sides of the Tasman to some of the prime issues facing the legal profession, including the culture of the bar, the relationship between the profession and the media, and the pressures to amend civil procedure rules to create greater efficiencies in court processes.
“We wanted to learn from each other, and these subjects appeared to be topical and ripe for discussion in a way that might achieve some synergy of learning and response,” Mr Foote says.
He says some of the conference’s other topics are a direct response to current trends in advocacy, such as the proliferation of government inquiries in both countries in recent years, which have become a significant part of the practice of many barristers.
The more than 30 speakers include, from New Zealand, the Attorney-General David Parker, the Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann, Justices Geoffrey Venning and Christian Whata, Kate Davenport QC, Marie Dyhrberg QC, and Jonathan Eaton QC; and from Australia, Justices Michael Corboy (Western Australia), Richard Niall (Victoria), and Sue Brown (Queensland).
There will also be networking drinks, activities around Queenstown and a gala dinner.