News and Announcements

From time to time, information deemed of interest to our community will be added to this page. Anyone is welcome to contact a member of the Committee to suggest additions.

NZCPL: Unearthing New Zealand’s Constitutional Traditions

Date: 29–30 August 2013 Time: 9.00 am
Venue: Parliament Buildings, Wellington – Hosted by Hon Chris Finlayson QC, Attorney-General of New Zealand

Law Foundation Logo

Registrations now open, please see the form at the bottom of the page.

It is often said that New Zealand’s dominant constitutional tradition is pragmatism – the “number eight wire” approach to constitutional change. But this hides other, and often richer, narratives from our constitutional past. This conference seeks to take a deeper look at, and to shed more light on, the fundamental ideals on which our constitution is based. It will carry on the Centre for Public Law’s own tradition of inquiry into our constitution by bringing together a number of distinguished scholars from New Zealand and abroad to reflect on these important questions and to begin unearthing the country’s traditions of constitutional thought.

Keynote speakers:

Professor David Hackett Fischer, University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University

Emeritus Professor Andrew Sharp, Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London/ University of Auckland

Opening Address: Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, Chief Justice of New Zealand

Confirmed speakers include

  • Professor Richard Boast, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Petra Butler, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Shaunnagh Dorsett, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Kirsty Gover, Melbourne Law School
  • Dr Mark Hickford, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Catherine Iorns, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Moana Jackson, Te Wananga o Raukawa
  • Dr Carwyn Jones, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Philip Joseph, University of Canterbury
  • Rt Hon Sir Kenneth Keith, International Court of Justice
  • Professor Geoff McLay, Law Commission/Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Janet McLean, The University of Auckland
  • Dr Grant Morris, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Matthew Palmer, Thorndon Chambers
  • Professor Tony Smith, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Mamari Stephens, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Damen Ward, Crown Law Office
  • Professor David Williams, The University of Auckland

For more information or to register, please contact: Events Coordinator, New Zealand Centre for Public Law, +64-4-4636327,

The NZ Centre for Public Law wishes to acknowledge the generous financial support of the NZ Law Foundation for this event.

All PDF documents require Acrobat Reader

The Society is pleased to welcome the return of an active Branch in Wellington. Joining active branches in Auckland and Dunedin, the Wellington Branch will host its first meeting in late October.

2011 McMaster University Philosophy of Law Conference
The Nature of Law: Contemporary Perspectives
Hosted by McMaster University’s Philosophy Department

May 13-15, 2011

Keynote Speakers:
Julie Dickson
Mike Giudice
Matthew Kramer
Brian Leiter
Margaret Martin
Mark Murphy
Scott Shapiro

See for more details.

Graduate Presentations May 11-13
Call for papers
Deadline for Submission of Graduate Papers January 14, 2011
See for more details.

Excerpts from the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy held at the University of Melbourne Law School, University Square, 185 Pelham St, Carlton, Vic.,  at 5.30 pm on Saturday June 5th 2010

1. The Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy achieved A rank for the journal with the Australian Research Council

2. The winner of the ASLP Essay Competition 2010: was Kyla Reid.

3. John Morss (at Deakin) will manage the Competition for 2011. Details of the competition are available in the AJLP

4. The 2001 Annual Conference 2011 will be held at UQ (Brisbane) during the winter months (dates yet to be decided).

New Journal of Interest

Criminal Law and Philosophy

Criminal Law and Philosophy

An International Journal for Philosophy of Crime, Criminal Law and Punishment
Editors-in-Chief: R.A. Duff; D.N. Husak
ISSN: 1871-9791 (print version)
Journal no. 11572
Springer Netherlands

Criminal Law and Philosophy fills a gap in the scholarly literature by providing a platform for articles that take a philosophical perspective on any issue in the broad field of crime and punishment. Moreover, it gives readers access to the latest thinking by the field’s best scholars.

Topics addressed include crime and criminalization; the content, principles, and structure of substantive criminal law; criminal justice and the criminal process; and punishment and sentencing.

Contributions from a range of philosophical schools and approaches are encouraged, in particular from both analytically oriented philosophers and from those who draw more from contemporary continental philosophy. Moreover, the journal publishes articles with an historical focus on earlier philosophical discussions of crime and punishment as well as articles with a more contemporary focus.

Abstracted/Indexed in:
Current Abstracts, Google Scholar, Index to Legal Periodicals and Books, OCLC, OmniFile, SCOPUS, Summon by Serial Solutions


The Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law is a centre of expertise dedicated to the better understanding of the legal aspects of Parliament and of democratic governing.  The intention of the Institute is to be of use in strengthening the rule of law and democracy in Canada.

The first concrete element of the Institute’s program, and its voice in the forum of public ideas, is  a journal to be known as the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law / Revue de droit parlementaire et politique.  This Journal has begun publishing in August, 2008, in conjunction with Carswell, a Thomson Reuters business.

The Journal focuses on a number of issues relating to Parliament and democratic governing that, to date, have not been sufficiently explored in Canada. These include:

  • definition of the legal components of democracy;
  • legal framework of the electoral system and process;
  • balance of law and politics in the legislature as a branch of government and in the legislative process;
  • applicability of the general law to legislative institutions and the interaction between the general law and the legal rules specific to legislative institutions;
  • law of parliamentary privilege;
  • choice of legal or other instruments for governing;
  • presence of law and its accommodation to or conflict with other types of instruments in the management of the executive branch of government;
  • enforceability through legal means of electoral, political or policy promises by figures in public life;
  • role, influence and impact of law in politics;
  • examination of whether and when the use of judicial process, litigation, prosecution or judicial inquiry is warranted and appropriate;
  • relative weight of legal, policy and political influences in the staffing of the judicial branch of government, in the adjudication of judicial disputes on issues of public governing and in prosecutions involving political issues;
  • combination of law, public policy and administration, and politics in the constant reform of government institutions and process;
  • interaction of law, public policy and administration, and politics in democratization;
  • legal view of the public interest; and
  • accountability to law of heads of State and government.

Taking its cue from the modus operandi of the Institute, the Journal intends to function independently of governments, academic institutions and professional associations, but in cooperation with any body sharing interest in its activities.  The goal of the Journal is to complement, rather than overlap or compete with like-minded organizations.  The Journal’s focus will be analysis rather than advocacy, thus enabling it to be non-partisan. It will conduct its work in an inter-disciplinary, comprehensive and comparative manner.  La Revue publiera de manière entièrement bilingue.

Volume I of the Journal is being published as a single, bound tome.  Starting with Volume II, the Journal will be published in separate issues, tracking the academic year.  Each issue will consist of

  • commentary on the role of law;
  • articles;
  • practice notes;
  • legislation;
  • litigation and jurisprudence; and
  • reviews of the literature.


If you wish to write for the Journal in any one of the above categories, or if you would like to become a peer reviewer, please contact the undersigned.

If you wish to subscribe to the Journal, call Carswell toll-free at 1-800-387-5164 or fax toll-free at


Within Carswell law publishers, specialist contacts are Mr. Michael Harrison for government purchasers in Canada, Ms Lisa Marrello for academic purchasers inside Canada, and Ms Julia Gulej for purchasers abroad and overseas.

In order to place conference announcements in the Journal, please contact Mr. Cameron Suggitt

If you wish to purchase advertising in the Journal, please contact Ms Mariam Lalani

Gregory Tardi
Executive Director
Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law
Executive Editor
Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law

Remembering Professor Maurice Goldsmith, chair of the Wellington Branch of the Society in the mid-90’s

Published 23 June 2008 at

Author: Professor Pat Walsh

I was saddened on the weekend to learn that Maurice Goldsmith died on Saturday evening, June 21.
Maurice was a Research Fellow in Philosophy at Victoria and Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Exeter, where he held the chair from 1969 until moving to New Zealand in 1989. He was educated at Columbia University (AB, 1954; PhD, 1964), and was editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy from 2002 until 2007. He was on the editorial boards of History of Political Thought and The Journal of the History of Ideas. Maurice was an active, positive and cheerful presence in the intellectual life of the University. His loss will be deeply felt by his friends and colleagues here at Victoria University. Our thoughts are with his family, especially his wife Elizabeth McLeay, Professor of Politics at Victoria, and their son, James. A funeral celebrating Maurice’s life will be held at Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral at 2PM on Friday June 27. Maurice’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations for scholarships may be made to the Victoria University Foundation, and may be left at the service.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: