New Zealand Law Society - Foundation brings top speakers to NZ

Foundation brings top speakers to NZ

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Law Foundation support will enable many eminent international legal experts to visit New Zealand and speak at conferences, seminars, lectures and other venues this year.

Perhaps the most prestigious event on the 2014 legal calendar will be the World Bar Conference in Queenstown in September, the first time this biennial event will be held in New Zealand.

The Foundation is contributing $50,000 towards bringing 10 international speakers to the event, themed around the topic Advocates as Protectors of the Rule of Law.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Lord Dyson, United Kingdom Master of the Rolls; Justice Robert Jay, leading counsel in the Levinson phone hacking enquiry; Sir Christopher Greenwood, Judge in the International Court of Justice; Singapore Chief Justice Menon; and Chief United States Court of Appeal Judge Alex Kozinsky.

Other attendees include leading Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, former Hong Kong Bar Association head Russell Coleman, and former United Kingdom Bar Association head Stephen Hockman. New Zealand attendees will include the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Justice Joe Williams, and former Parole Board chair Sir David Carruthers.

This will be an exciting event for New Zealand. Around 220-240 delegates are expected to attend the conference from bar associations of member countries. Further information and registration details can be found at

Other events with Foundation-backed international speakers this year include:

The topical conference Key Issues in the Design of Capital Gains Taxes at the University of Auckland in July. The Foundation is supporting keynote speakers from Canada and Germany – experts from Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and France will also attend. The conference aims to inform the current New Zealand debate on this subject.

The Maxim Institute’s annual Sir John Graham Lecture, will be delivered by Professor Helen Alvare of the George Mason School of Law in Virginia, USA. Her topic will be the fundamental right to freedom of conscience and belief (the lecture date is still to be confirmed).

The University of Waikato’s conference Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Aotearoa – Theory and Practice. Foundation funding will enable attendance by keynote speakers Professor James Anaya, UN special rapporteur of indigenous peoples, and Professor Mick Dodson of the Australian National University.

The successful February conference New Thinking on Sustainability was held at Victoria’s Centre for Public Law. It included keynote speaker Professor Gerald Torres of Cornell University who was linked into proceedings by video conference. Links to the conference podcasts will be available from the Centre at

Later this year, the Law Foundation’s 2014 Distinguished Visiting Fellow will tour all law schools. This year’s fellow will be intellectual property law Professor Jane Ginsburg of New York’s Columbia Law School.

Further information on these and other conferences and events with Foundation-supported speakers can be found at our website

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