New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Justice Helen Winkelmann, the Chief High Court Judge, has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal and Justice Geoffrey Venning has been appointed Chief High Court Judge. Justice Winkelmann graduated from Auckland University in 1984 and was a partner with Phillips Fox for a number of years. She commenced practice at the independent bar in 2001. In 2004 Justice Winkelmann was appointed a Judge of the High Court, becoming Chief High Court Judge in 2010. A Judge of the High Court in Auckland, Justice Venning graduated from Canterbury University in 1981 and joined Christchurch firm Wynn Williams and Co. He was admitted to the partnership of the firm in 1986. Justice Venning was appointed a Master of the High Court in 1995 and in November 2002 he relocated to Auckland to take up a position as a High Court Judge. The appointments will take effect on 1 June.

Retired Australian judge Ian Callinan AC QC has been appointed to head up the inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim. A former Justice of the High Court of Australia, he has been appointed to conduct a fresh inquiry into Mr Bain’s claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. The appointment follows Cabinet’s decision in February 2015 to set aside all previous advice relating to Mr Bain’s claim and conduct a fresh inquiry. A fresh inquiry was considered necessary because Cabinet did not have the information in front of it on which it could reasonably reach a decision, Justice Minister Amy Adams said when announcing the appointment on 20 March. Mr Callinan will start work immediately and expects to be able to report back to the Justice Minister within six months.

Brian Keene QC was confirmed as President of ADLSI for 2015 at the society’s annual meeting last month. Mr Keene became the ADLSI President in March last year, succeeding Frank Godinet. The 2015 Council is John Brandts-Giesen, Vikki Brannagan, John Hagen, Stephanie Nicolson, Joanna Pidgeon, David Roughan, Mary Anne Shanahan and William Spring.

AYL Boat Cruise

For the third year in a row, the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Young Lawyers group held its summer boat cruise. This event was sponsored by The College of Law New Zealand and Medical Assurance Society (MAS). 150 young lawyers boarded the Ocean Eagle and enjoyed dinner, dancing and a DJ while cruising around the Auckland harbour on Friday 6 March. Enjoying the cruise (above, from left) were Rhys Howard, Jennifer McNamara and Telise Kelly, while (at right, from right) were Ruby Yeats, Richard Berkhan and Anya Park. Photos by the NZLS Auckland branch Photographer, Claudia Chilcott. The AYL says it owes a big thank you to the sponsors for their generous contribution, without which the event would not have been possible.

Award for teaching law

Law Faculty member Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru was one of four lecturers recently honoured by colleagues and students in this year’s Otago University Teaching Excellence Awards.

Associate Professor Ruru was recognised for challenging the teaching of law to create culturally safe and stimulating indigenous learning opportunities for law scholars, particularly Māori students. Associate Professor Ruru received the kaupapa Māori award.

She teaches Laws 101, Legal History, Māori Land Law and Law and Indigenous Peoples. Her research focuses on exploring Indigenous peoples’ legal rights to own, manage and govern land and water including national parks and minerals in Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Australia and the Scandinavia countries.

The university offers three Teaching Excellence Awards in the general category and one kaupapa Māori award each year.

Tax competition

Young lawyers who have an interest in future New Zealand tax policy and administration have an opportunity to present and debate their idea in a competition in Wellington in October.

The Tax Policy Scholarships Charitable Trust is running a competition for young tax professionals working in the public and private sector and academia to showcase new ideas in tax policy or administration.

Four young tax professionals will be selected for the competition, where the finalists will give a presentation and field questions from the judges at Victoria University on 8 October.

The winner will receive $10,000 and the other finalists $2,000. Tax professionals under the age of 35 (at 1 January, 2015) are eligible to enter.

Entries close on 25 May. Finalists will be announced on 13 July. See for competition guidelines and judging criteria.

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