UC Law

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UC’s School of Law | Te Kura Ture was founded in 1873 and is one of New Zealand’s leading law schools – consistently ranking in the top 150 law schools worldwide. We have a strong reputation in traditional areas of law and offer innovative courses investigating the ways law intersects with Antarctica, Māori land, the media, sport, and medicine. Our unique Criminal Justice qualifications also have

Operating as usual


Dr Cassandra Mudgway talked about “Tolerate online abuse or resign: how the law fails women MPs” at a UC Connect event.


What are the legal implications of sea level rise for Ireland and how can we facilitate communicating climate and disaster risk at a city level?
UC visiting Erskine fellow, Dr Dug Cubie from University College Cork addressed these two important questions at the UC's Cluster for Community and Urban Resilience (CURe) this week.

Photos from UC Law's post 24/04/2024

Congratulations to our outstanding students Beatrice Markell and Lucy Harman for their exceptional achievements in 2023! Anderson Lloyd Partner, Charlotte Webber awarded the Prize in Contract (LAWS203) to Beatrice and the Prize in Land law (LAWS205) to Lucy at an event at the Christchurch office of Anderson Lloyd.
Beatrice and Lucy are joined in these photos by Professor Elizabeth Toomey and Dr Adrien Paul (Law Law); Professor Annick Masselot and Dr Matt Barber (Contract law); and of course, Anderson Lloyd Partner Charlotte Webber.


We're super excited for term 2 to be starting! Here we are - Jayson Ware and Marozane Spamers - with some of our criminal justice students at our first student consultation for the term. 🤩

Tauhere UC Connect: Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs | Humanitix 19/04/2024

Come along and see our own Cassandra Mudgway give an important presentation for UC Connect titled Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs. It's happening Wednesday 24 April. Tickets available here: https://events.humanitix.com/tauhere-uc-connect-tolerate-online-abuse-or-resign-how-the-law-fails-women-mps

Tauhere UC Connect: Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs | Humanitix Get tickets on Humanitix - Tauhere UC Connect: Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs hosted by University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha . C1 Lecture Theatre . Wednesday 24th April 2024. Find event information.

UC Connect: Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs | University of Canterbury 18/04/2024

UC law Senior Lecturer Dr Cassandra Mudgway will be talking about Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs on Wednesday 24 April 2024.

UC Connect: Tolerate Online Abuse or Resign: How the Law Fails Women MPs | University of Canterbury Certain groups of women are more likely to experience intense forms of online violence than others – these include Māori, Pacific, migrant, disabled, and q***r women. The 2023 Aotearoa New Zealand election campaign illustrated a disturbing trend of online and offline violence against women politi...


Can law help contribute to sustainable wine-making? Andreas Gschwend, visiting scholar from the University of Bern in Switzerland gave a seminar to UC Faculty of Law on relationship between wine, law, and sustainability.


I met up with Sherie Lucke this morning at Te Omeka. Sherie oversees education for the 5 prisons on the South Island. We talked about the enormous potential of higher education in prisons to transform lives. Hope to have more to report in this space soon. 😊


It was so good to catch up with Trevor Nesbit to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with generative AI in teaching, learning and research.

Photos from UC Law's post 10/04/2024

We are all so happy and proud of our students and family who graduated yesterday.

Photos from UC Law's post 10/04/2024

UC Faculty of Law graduates FOUR PhD today! Congratulations Dr Sophie Goossens (supervised by Liz Toomey, Toni collins and Natalie Baird); Dr Irina Golda Lamadrid (supervised by Debra Wilson, James Mehigan and Annick Masselot); Dr Raana Zahmatkesh (supervised by Annick Masselot, Liz Macpherson and John Hopkins); and Dr Simone Schwoerer (supervised by Debra Wilson and Matt Barber).


We were privileged to have Jennifer Thompson speak to us about the Healing Justice Project yesterday. Her honesty and extraordinary experiences moved everyone in the room. And how she turned adversity into a powerful tool for healing was extremely powerful and inspirational. Thank you, Jennifer! ❤
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Many congratulations to UC Law alumni Geneviève Barry who won the 2023 writing prize for best article published in the recently released eighth edition of the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal. Geneviève Barry’s article is entitled “A feminist approach to the recovery of childrearing costs in wrongful conception cases in Aotearoa New Zealand” and is based on her LLB Hon research dissertation under the supervision of Prof Steven Todd and Prof Ursula Cheer.


Have a look at the latest news from the Australasian Corrections Education Association including a webinar next week and the CFP for the biennial conference!



Fifty second- and third-year University of Canterbury criminal justice students attended a Careers Event at Te Omeka, the Justice Precinct. During the event, attendees had the opportunity to listen to presentations from representatives of various agencies including the NZ Police, Department of Corrections NZ, Ministry of Justice - New Zealand, Hato Hone St John, and Civil Defence NZ, who provided insights into the career options available in the field. Additionally, some BCJ graduates were present to share their experiences and discuss how their studies had prepared them for careers in criminal justice. Following the presentations, the students enjoyed a guided tour of Te Omeka.


UC employment law students were very grateful last week to get a lecture on Health and Safety law from Joe Lill (Findex).


It was fabulous to catch up with Anna Leask, criminal justice reporter for the New Zealand Herald. We discussed all things criminal justice, particularly the shifting focus of the new government of Aotearoa, particularly in relation to juvenile justice. Food for thought!

Changes to NZ’s parole laws to improve rehabilitation could lead to even longer prison times 06/03/2024

Read this insightful article in The Conversation by our own Laura Johnstone about how changes to NZ’s parole laws to improve rehabilitation could lead to even longer prison times.

Changes to NZ’s parole laws to improve rehabilitation could lead to even longer prison times Understaffing and budget cuts mean prisoners often struggle to complete rehab programmes, even when they want to. ACT’s Parole Amendment Bill risks having the opposite of its intended effect.


Our own Helen Farley joined forces with Sarah Woodland of the University of Melbourne to present a webinar for Chaire UNESCO de recherche appliquée pour l’éducation en prison about 'Educational Innovations in Australasian Prison Education.' That webinar is now online!


Photos from UC Law's post 06/03/2024

What an engaging korero last night between Justice Christian Whata and staff and students of the UC Faculty of Law on “The Law Commission Study Paper: He Poutama – a principled framework to guide your interactions with tikanga and the law”


Very excited to have Professor Tonia Novitz (University of Bristol) presenting a seminar on "The role of labour in sustainable development" at the UC Faculty of Law research seminar today. We are grateful for the support of the New Zealand Labour Law Society.


Every week Jayson Ware, Marozane Spamers and I like to sit down with our criminal justice students to see what's working (and not) in our classes and discuss the latest happenings around the globe!


The future of the profession is in capable hands thanks to the 56 young lawyers recognised by NZ Lawyer as Rising Stars of 2024. We're proud that some of our UC Law Alumni feature prominently in the list, including Jacob Nutt, Ryan Keen, Julie Hands (pictured), Blake Carey, Renata Davis, and Andrew L. Legal leaders praised the accomplished lawyers, aged 35 and under, for the remarkable law careers they have built and their clear potential to make a significant, long-lasting impact.


🎉 Congratulations to our outstanding students Alex Reilly and Josh Foster-Pearcy for their exceptional achievements in 2023! 🏆 Alex has been awarded the Wynn Williams & Co Prize in Torts (LAWS204), while Josh clinched the Wynn Williams & Co Prize in Resource Management (LAWS376). Their dedication and hard work have truly paid off, as they emerged as the top students in their respective core courses, Torts and Land Law, among a cohort of over 230 students. 🌟 Well done, Alex and Josh! Your accomplishments are truly commendable! 👏 They are joined in this photo by Professor Stephen Todd, Executive Dean Professor Petra Butler, and Professor Ursula Cheer. Of course, a big thank you to Wynn Williams Lawyers Christchurch for sponsoring the prizes! We appreciate your support!

Beyond legal personhood for the Whanganui River: collaboration and pluralism in implementing the Te Awa Tupua Act 28/02/2024

Professor Elizabeth Macpherson has published an article with Miriama Cribb and Axel Borchgrevink in the International Journal of Human Rights 'Beyond legal personhood for the Whanganui River: collaboration and pluralism in implementing the Te Awa Tupua Act'. The article explores two cases of implementation of the groundbreaking River settlement legislation – Te Pūwaha (the revitalisation of the Port of Whanganui); and Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua, the collaborative group charged with developing a strategy for the river. The research shifts attention away from legal personality to three other elements of the legal arrangements: The centrality of Māori kawa (value-based, Indigenous ); the establishment of a comprehensive set of new institutions and practices; and the devolution of authority to hapū (subtribes) and communities. These elements represent a paradigm shift towards a and form of governance. The authors acknowledge and express their deepest appreciation for the iwi and hapū of the river who carefully and patiently shared their knowledge with them.

Beyond legal personhood for the Whanganui River: collaboration and pluralism in implementing the Te Awa Tupua Act There is now a large body of scholarly literature on the legal and governance arrangements for the Whanganui River in Aotearoa New Zealand, given the rights of a legal person under Te Awa Tupua (Wh...

Global Perspectives on Press Regulation, Volume 2 25/02/2024

Professor Ursula Cheer has published “One Body to Rule them All: Press Regulation in New Zealand” in Global Perspectives on Press Regulation, Volume 2: Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania, 303-329 (Hart Publishing, Bloomsbury Academic).

Global Perspectives on Press Regulation, Volume 2 In this ground-breaking two-volume set, world-leading experts produce a rich, authoritative depiction of the world's press, its freedom, and its limits.We want…


Toni Collins has presented a paper on the Safety of Disaster Recovery Workers at the Cities on Volcanoes Conference in Antigua, Guatemala from a project that she has been working on with Nellie Evison (Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE summer scholar) and W. John Hopkins. UC PhD candidate Holly Faulkner also presented her research on the legal frameworks required in catastrophic disaster events using the Auckland Volcanic Field as her case study. UC PhD Alumni Dr Abdul Hasib Suenu, who now works for the World Bank met with Toni and Holly.


Congratulations to Irina Golda Lamadrid who has been awarded her PhD on "Peace Babies: Status and Legal Responsibility for Children Fathered and Abandoned by UN Peacekeepers" in a fabulous viva today! Here with the supervisory team Professors Debra Wilson, Annick Masselot and James Mehigan, examiner Dr Marnie Lloydd and chair of the oral Professor Karen Scott.


It was lovely to welcome Professor Petra Butler to the Faculty of Law at the University of Canterbury. Petra is coming into the role of Executive Dean, picking up the baton from Karen Scott. Also acknowledging Simon Arnold photobombing! Welcome, Petra! 😍

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UC School of Law




University Of Canterbury

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