New Zealand Law Society - Latest books cover wealth of socio-legal subjects

Latest books cover wealth of socio-legal subjects

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Recently-published books funded by the Law Foundation deal with complex and controversial issues in law and society. Topics addressed in our books released in the last six months include the Supreme Court, the Canterbury earthquakes, the neo-liberal economy, intellectual property and New Zealand’s biodiversity.

In the last five years more than 80 important research publications and reports have been made possible with Foundation backing – the full list can be found under the ‘Publications’ tab on our website

Here are summaries of our most recently published works:

The Supreme Court of New Zealand 2004-2013

This collection examines the achievements, trends and significant decisions of the Supreme Court’s first decade. It covers key decisions in legal subjects including company, torts, judicial review, contractual interpretation, public, employment, Bill of Rights, taxation and criminal. There is a barrister’s perspective on the court’s performance, and a full list of the court’s accessible outputs. Co-editor Mary-Rose Russell, from AUT Law School, says the court has dealt with significant challenges including process for appointments to the bench, accessibility and rising expenses. The book has particular benefit to legal academics, practitioners and legal historians.
Co-editors Mary-Rose Russell and Matthew Barber, AUT University published July 2015.

Legal Response to Natural Disasters

The Christchurch earthquakes and other recent natural disasters highlight the lack of comprehensive information and guidance available to legal professionals dealing with issues arising in the aftermath. This book responds to that need, drawing on legal and non-legal information from New Zealand and overseas. It covers post-earthquake legal issues such as insurance, family law, tenancies, taxation, media and privacy, health and safety, and the interface of the Resource Management Act with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act. It also includes a comparative analysis of overseas legal experiences following natural disasters. The book is of interest to New Zealand and overseas lawyers, and to central and local government officials.
Co-authors Professors Jeremy Finn and Elizabeth Toomey, University of Canterbury, published May 2015.

The FIRE Economy

The FIRE economy – built on finance, insurance and real estate – is a metaphor for a fundamental shift in global capitalism since the 1970s, with finance replacing industry as the world’s principal source of wealth creation. The change has transformed politics, economy and society, supported by a neo-liberal regime that celebrates markets, profit and risk. The author, Professor Jane Kelsey from Auckland Law Faculty, argues that the neo-liberal “orthodoxy” has brought instability and empowered the few, yet is remarkably resilient in New Zealand and overseas. Professor Kelsey presents evidence of how this transfer of wealth and power has become systematically embedded over the past three decades.
Author Professor Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland, published July 2015.

Test Tubes for Global Intellectual Property Issues

This book uses examples from the small market economies of Singapore, New Zealand and Israel to show innovative ways of addressing global intellectual property issues. As developed countries that are also net importers of intellectual property, small market economies have similar concerns to some developing countries. The three countries have developed creative legal solutions that support national economic and social needs as well as honouring international commitments. The issues covered include treaty interpretation, dispute resolution, links between trade and innovation, flexibility in patent and copyright law, the importance of trade marks to small business, parallel importing and the protection of traditional knowledge.
Author Susy Frankel, Victoria University of Wellington published July 2015.

Vanishing Nature: facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis

This collection compiled by the Environmental Defence Society is the first comprehensive stocktake of New Zealand’s natural heritage and efforts to protect it. It argues that our remarkable native biodiversity is fragile and in crisis, with existing measures failing to protect threatened species like the kiwi, the kauri and the kokopu (whitebait). The book argues that an imbalance between public and private interests is a key reason for the crisis – economic institutions promote biodiversity loss by not accounting for environmental costs, and laws and policies cannot prevent the resulting ongoing losses. A comprehensive range of strategic, tactical and practical solutions is proposed, backing the authors’ claim that biodiversity loss is not inevitable – it is a choice. The book is a full-colour, soft cover publication suitable for general and technical audiences, with user-friendly language and lots of images.
Marie Brown (lead author), R T Theo Stephens, Raewyn Peart and Bevis Fedder, published March 2015.

New books available soon

The Search for Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is an evolving concept that is gaining traction internationally, including through the UN Environmental Programme in its recent first internationally-negotiated document to establish the supportive “environmental rule of law.” This collection from international experts traces the major developments in the theory and practice of environmental justice in different jurisdictions. It shows how the concept is applied through diverse legal approaches and rules. Issues it considers include the rights of nature and its application through judicial practice, and approaches to respecting the law, culture and rights of indigenous peoples.
Edited by Paul Martin (Australia), Sadeq Z Bigdeli and Trevor Daya-Winterbottom (New Zealand), Willemien du Plessis (South Africa), Amanda Kennedy (Australia). Publication expected September 2015.

The Native Land Court 1888-1909: A Historical Study, Cases and Commentary

This is the second of a three-volume series, researched and written by Professor Richard Boast QC, Victoria University Law Faculty, which collectively will be the first authoritative published selection of the Native Land Court’s principal decisions. The first volume, published in 2013 (winner of the 2013 J F Northey Prize), covered more than 100 cases from 1862-1887, and included a full introduction to the court, with full text and commentary on each case and its significance. The second volume picks up where the first left off, dealing with the period 1888-1909.
Author Professor Richard Boast QC, Victoria University of Wellington. Publication expected September 2015.

Health Law in New Zealand

This publication is an authoritative account of the law relating to health care in New Zealand. The book is the latest edition of the former Medical Law in New Zealand (Brookers Ltd, 2006) and is a collaboration by some of New Zealand’s leading experts on Health Law topics, providing high level analysis. This edition has been significantly re-written and will contain chapters on Public Health for the first time. The research and writing of these chapters, by Louise Delany, University of Otago, has been funded by the Law Foundation.
General Editors Professors Peter Skegg, University of Otago and Ron Paterson, University of Auckland. Publication expected October 2015.

Lynda Hagen is Executive Director of the New Zealand Law Foundation.

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