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Representing Diverse Parties in Courts - Judges' Perspectives

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New Zealand Law Society - Auckland Branch

51 Shortland Street

#Level 12

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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Representing culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse parties in courts - Judges' perspectives

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After the successful launch of the first major study conducted into the unique issues and challenges faced by courts, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and interpreters to ensure equal access to justice for culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CALD) parties in the courts, and Chinese litigants and defendants in particular, the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, NZ Asian Lawyers and New Zealand Law Society Auckland branch co-hosting a session on "Representing culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse parties in courts - Judges' perspectives'.

Speakers include:

The Honorable Justice Courtney, Court of Appeal 

Justice Patricia Courtney graduated LLB from the University of Auckland in 1982. She joined the Department of Trade & Industry as an investigating officer in November 1982 and in 1983 became a staff solicitor at Heaney Jones & Mason. In 1986 Justice Courtney moved to McElroy Milne and became a partner of the firm in 1989. In 1992, she was a founding partner of the firm of McElroys and was senior partner from 1998 until her appointment as a High Court judge in 2004.  Justice Courtney was appointed to the Court of Appeal in February 2019.

The Honourable Justice Venning, Chief High Court Judge

Justice Venning completed a double major B Comm in 1978 at the University of Canterbury followed by an LLB (1st Class Hons) in 1981. From 1982 to 1986 he tutored part-time in commercial law at the University. He became a litigation partner at the Christchurch law firm of Wynn Williams and Co in 1986. He was appointed a master of the High Court in 1995 based in Christchurch. He subsequently moved to Auckland in November 2002 to take up a position as a High Court judge. Justice Venning was a member of the High Court Rules Committee from 1999 – 2005, a member of the Council of Legal Education from 2004 – May 2015 (Chair from March 2010) and served two terms as the list judge in the Auckland High Court.  Justice Venning was appointed Chief High Court Judge with effect from 1 June 2015.

The Honourable Justice Palmer, Chair of Institute of Judicial Studies and High Court Judge

Justice Palmer graduated BA (Economics and Political Science) (1983) from the University of Canterbury, LLB (Hons 1st class) (1987) from Victoria University of Wellington, LLM, Master of Laws, Yale Law School (1990), JSD, Doctor of Laws, Yale Law School (1994).

He was admitted to the NZ Bar in 1987 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.  He has held positions as manager in the Treasury, Deputy Secretary for Justice, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Law at Victoria University and was Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law) at Crown Law Office from 2008-2012.  Justice Palmer was the New Zealand Law Foundation 2005 International Research Fellow while Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law and Fulbright Senior Scholar at Yale Law School.  He was appointed to the High Court on 14 October 2015 and is based in Auckland.

The Honorable Justice Fitzgerald, High Court

Justice Fitzgerald graduated LLB (Senior Scholar) in 1992 from Victoria University.  She was admitted to the Bar in 1992 in New Zealand, as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1999 and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2003.  She was employed as a litigation solicitor at Russell McVeagh in Wellington from 1992 to 1994, before a move to Clifford Chance in London as a Senior Solicitor from 1994 to 1997 and then at Debevoise & Plimpton in London from 1998 to 2001.  Justice Fitzgerald returned to Russell McVeagh, Wellington from 2001 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2006 was a Senior Associate, Dispute Resolution at the firm of Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney.  She returned to Auckland in 2006 and in 2007, joined the partnership of Russell McVeagh, where she remained until her current appointment on 22 August 2016.  Justice Fitzgerald is based in Auckland.

The Honorable Justice Powell, High Court

The Hon Justice Powell won the Senior Prize in Law and Kensington Swan Scholarship in 1986.  He graduated LLB (Hons) from Auckland University in 1987 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1987.  After working in the firm of Kensington Swan from 1987 to 1994 he moved to Tunnicliffe Walters Williams (later Walters Williams & Co) in 1994, and was a partner from 1996 until 2003.  Justice Powell was a partner in Powell Webber & Associates from 2003 until 2011, following which he practised as a Barrister Sole up until his appointment as a District Court Judge in September 2013.  Justice Powell was appointed a High Court Judge on 1 March 2018, and is based in Auckland.

Mai Chen, Managing Partner, Chen Palmer and Chair, Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business

Mai Chen is Managing Partner Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists; Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law, Director on the BNZ Board, Chair of Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, NZ Asian Leaders and Superdiverse Women. Mai sits on the Government’s Trade For All Advisory Board and previously sat on the Securities Commission. She has chaired Government reviews and authored many books and reports. Mai was twice a finalist in the New Zealander of the Year awards and was in the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life in the Global Diversity List 2016.

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Date and Time

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New Zealand Law Society - Auckland Branch

51 Shortland Street

#Level 12

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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