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The Unequal Impact of Managerialism in the Criminal Justice System

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Victoria University's Law School

55 Lambton Quay

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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NZLS Women in Law Committee invites you to a panel discussion of how efforts to make the criminal justice system more efficient and effective are increasing the reach of the system into our communities, the unequal impact of this expansion, and the need for legal practitioners to adopt a critical approach to practice in this context.

The Chief Justice gave a speech at the Criminal Bar Association conference in 2017 entitled ‘Managing Criminal Justice’. The intention of her speech was to raise questions about whether the move towards managerialism in the criminal justice system have assisted with certainty and fairness, and her focus was on practice and procedure in the proof of guilt. She said “there is a need to ensure that the management of criminal justice does not neglect procedural safeguards and that innovation does not throw over basic principle such as in open justice and certainty, and the ability of judges to do what is “fair and just.””

Taking the Chief Justice’s speech as a starting point, the panellists will look beyond the practice and procedure of the criminal process, to look at how “innovation” in the system, however well intentioned, is having unintended and unequal effects on certain communities, in particular Māori, especially Māori women, whanau and wider communities.

This discussion will be hosted by our MC, Julia Whaipooti (Ngāti Porou), Senior Advisor/Kaitohutohu at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Prior to her current role Julia has been involved in the Community Law movement over the past 8 years as a volunteer, advocate, lawyer and National Māori Co-ordinator. Julia is on the Board of JustSpeak and recently led a delegation of young Māori leaders to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

The panellists include:

· Māmari Stephens (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Pākehā), Senior Lecturer, Victoria University Law School, whose research interests include language and law, criminal law, social security law, Māori and the NZ legal system.

· Julia Spelman (Ngāti Hikairo Ki Kawhia, Ngāti Pākehā), criminal defence barrister at Pipitea Chambers and the chair of JustSpeak, an NGO that advocates for transformative change of the criminal justice system in Aotearoa.

· Elizabeth Adetiba, Fulbright Visiting Researcher from the United States, based at Victoria University’s School of Government researching the relationship between various justice processes and the needs of victim-survivors of sexual violence. Elizabeth will return to the United States in August to commence a PhD in sociology at the Columbia University, NYC.

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Victoria University's Law School

55 Lambton Quay

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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