Seeing The World Whole Essays In Honour Of Sir Kenneth Keith

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It is without any sense of hyperbole that the Rt Hon Judge Sir Kenneth Keith ONZ KBE QC This collection of essays in honour of Sir Kenneth is published by Victoria University Press (in association with the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and with the assistance of the Law Foundation) to mark his retirement from the New Zealand Supreme Court, to honour his distinguished career as an academic, law reformer legal advisor, international advocate and judge, and to celebrate his appointment to the International Court of Justice the first and only New Zealander ever to be so appointed. Any book which seeks to honour an individual with such a varied and outstanding career would run the risk of providing a disparate array of material on topics that are not necessarily able to be discussed within one volume. This book, based on essays that were prepared for a conference, to fulfil its brief by honouring Sir Kenneth with a collection of scholarly works that divulge no hint of disconnectedness. It is probably somewhat unusual because it is a book in which academics, law reformers, legal advisors, international advocates and judges, as well as law students, will all find something of interest.

Many of the contributors to the book begin their remarks or essays with an anecdote about their (often long-standing) relationship with Sir Kenneth Keith. In the same vein, this author will begin by noting that she has only had one point of contact with Sir Kenneth: in the context of a seminar on international courts and tribunals held in Wellington in 2004 Sir Kenneth gave a wonderful presentation on the litigation of disputes before the International

Court of Justice. In the same context, the reviewer had the pleasure of meeting Sir Kenneth during a function at Government House. Other than sharing the same birthday, and an interest in international law, there is nothing much in common and the reviewer is certainly not qualified to assess his contribution to international law. Nevertheless, the opportunity of reading (and keeping) this book could not be passed up and so the following comments are humbly offered. The book is broadly divided into nine sections, within each of which there legal fraternity as well as several notable scholars from abroad. The first section consists of a Mihi from Paul Meredith and an opening address from Dame Sian Elias. The Chief Justice relationship between international law and domestic law. In her eloquent address, the Chief neth saw between international and domestic sources of law, it is a pithy summary of the overarching theme of the book. The Chief Justice ends her opening address by suggesting that Sir is to be found, how

The second section is called Constitutional Foundations; it includes brief remarks from Sir Ivor Richardson and essays by David Feldman, Janet McLean and Claudia Geiringer. Each of the essays is an impressive scholarly contribution in and of itself. analysis of the growing tension between United Nations agencies, member states and regional former Associate Minister of Affairs, Tariana Turia, as her starting point; and Geiringer provides a close examination of Bill of Rights Act methodology with a particular emphasis on section 6 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the decision of R v Hansen1. Within the section there is, fittingly, a mixture of international and domestic constitutional law issues. Although all three essays have been published elsewhere2 their reproduction fits well with the theme of the book and an additional airing of such scholarly works, exposing them to a wider audience, is valuable.

Opening remarks from Alison Quentin-Baxter, in which she discloses her role in introducing Sir Kenneth to the realm of international law in 1959, and a closing commentary by Gerard van Bohemen, in which he discuss between international and domestic law, as well as summarising changes in treating-making from a Ministry of Foreign Affairs perspective, bookend the third section, International Foundations. In between thos

Treasa Dunworth or decisions produced by external entities providing those entities meet requirements of legality, rationality, proportionality as well as the rule of law and human rights. Essentially, he is focusing on the extent to which a court can or cannot review the actions of an institution which is not part of the legal system of the court and he is (I think) putting forward a courts can utilize. Treasa two key pieces which he wrote in the 1960s regarding the relationship between international mmarising usefully what Sir Kenneth wrote to see the international/domestic relationship holistically than just commentary on the preceding two essays by Kingsbury and Dunworth. McGrath J provides valuable seminal cases, namely, Attorney-General v Transport Accident Investigation Commission3 (the Air Line Pilots’ Association case), Wellington District Legal Services Committee v Tangiora4 and Sellers v Maritime Safety Inspector5.

The fourth section of the book is entitled Methodological Foundations. The opening remarks from Dr George Barton QC allude to the process by which Sir Kenneth was poached from the Ministry of External Affairs and appointed as a junior law lecturer at Victoria that Sir Kenneth chose for his is taught in New Zealand through essays contributed by John Burrows, Ben Keith and Dean Knight. Professor Burrows begins his contribution with an anecdote about teaching an LLM course at Canterbury in international law at the age of 24 and having his international law exam paper externally assessed by Sir Kenneth (Professor Burrows self-deprecatingly remarks that he did not subsequently teach international law). As with all the contributors to but he also provides interesting analysis on the importance of teaching statute law in law schools. He argues forcefully for a compulsory first ; Harvard Law School has recently revamped its curriculum to include such a course. There is much in his essay that should cause all law teachers to pause and reflect, including his statement that as a type of law . The title of Ben Keith , , was appropriated by the editors for the overall book. The essay is subtitled to a substantial, and arguably unique, degree with the citation of international and comparative law and, more broadly, with the invocation of external material in legal reasoning lawyers to see cannot be done to this excellent essay in such a confined space. The section on Methodological Foundations is brought to a close with an article on administrative law by Dean Knight. He poses the question: What is the appropriate standard of review that the courts should adopt when reviewing decisions of public bodies and officials? To cut a long story short, his conclusion is that a sliding-scale of reasonableness or different standards of review for matters of substance represents, or soon will represent, the orthodox approach in.

The three sections of the book that working life professing, advising and judging, are Hon Sir Stephen Sedley, which discusses the constitutional ideas of the Levellers in the in everything and everyone and his ability to draw connections between the past and the present that might escape the notice of others. Out of the three following sections of the book, the one of particular interest to this reader was the section devoted to Professing. There are some introductory remarks from Tony Smith followed by essays from Peter Hogg, Joanna Mossop, Jacinta Ruru and Michael Taggert. At the risk of neglecting the equally important sections on Advising and Judging, some of the points raised in the Professing sections are worthy of closer attention. Professor Smith mentions, inter alia, the role of the law faculty within the university academy more generally and the extent to which governments control universities. schools have changed the role of women in New Zealand legal education. Aside from those two specific areas, she raises a number of questions which require further examination. In discussing the wider community role of the legal academy, Mossop asks whether legal academics could, and should play a greater part in public debates and pursue a more proactive relationship with the newspaper by Steve Braunias in which he mocked an academic at another law faculty for his greater role in public debates for law academics has to be a two way street: if the media, or certa to contribution to greater public understanding?) then it is probably unlikely that law lecturers will rush en masse ve relationship with the media.

In another section of her essay, Mossop asks whether law schools are servicing the needs of the profession in training future lawyers. She observes that in the United States, clinical legal education is an important part of [clinical courses] are popular with students and provide excellent training, one problem is that clinical law professors are often considered to be inferior to traditional law professors in terms of status and salar. She has touched on an important issue since focusing on clinical environment, law lecturers who focus on clinical legal education may expose themselves to a career path which provides less scope for publication, and hence, promotion.

One of the matters Mossop touches on is the under-representation of women in senior ranks within New Zealand universities. She refers to her own faculty at Victoria, where only one out of eight law professors are women, but she does not take the issue further and compare all law faculties across New Zealand which would have been interesting. A cursory glance at academic staff listings on websites shows that the number of women in the senior ranks differs markedly from law school to law school. At Canterbury University, for example, none of the five professors are women; three out of five of their associate professors, four out of nine senior lectures and two out of four lecturers are women.6 At the University of Otago and the University of Auckland, it is more difficult to assess the numbers at each rank since the listings of academic staff are organized alphabetically rather than according to rank.7 At the University Of Waikato’s Faculty of Law, women are represented fairly well in the senior and junior ranks: two out of five professors, two out of three associate professors, six out of twelve senior lecturers and six out of seven lecturers are women.8

Mossop’s essay is followed directly by a contribution from Jacinta Ruru who focuses on legal education and . She singles out the University of Waikato Faculty of Law for communicates a feeling that it is also deficient in meeting the needs of Mori law students. Wiinformation which may be relevant to the debate which she is seeking to have. Student Profile Statistics, generated by the University of Waikato, show that in 1997, seven per cent of the total number of law students at the University of Waikato Faculty of Law identified themselves as Maori9 That figure has risen gradually over the past decade: from 2000-2005 it was nine per cent, in 2006 it was ten per cent, in 2007 it dipped to nine per cent and in 2008 it was back at ten per cent. These figures cannot be a basis for comparison without figures from other law schools, but they demonstrate that students have faith in this Faculty of Law and are willing to come here (often from outside the region) to study. Another statistic that provides some degree of comfort is that, when compared to all other schools at the University of Waikato, the Faculty of Law has the highest re-enrolment rates for students (and is twenty per cent above the overall average rate for re-enrolment at the University of Waikato).10 The final statistic mentioned here is the pass rate for law students compared with all domestic students at the University of Waikato: in 2008, M law students had an 87 per cent pass rate compared with a university average of 81 per cent. This relatively high pass rate may be due in part to the Faculty biculturalism and its desire to assist law students which presently includes a Mentoring programme and a Liason Co-ordinator (Kaitakawaenga ) on the Faculty of Law staff. Statistics cannot tell the full story, but there is a debate to be had here and figures such as these can help inform that debate.

The final chapter in the Professing section is written by Professor Taggert. It is an illuminating discussion of the impacts of PBRF on legal education in which Taggert identifies some of the concerns he has as a result of his experience on the PBRF’s Humanities and Law panel. Amongst many other things, he questions the effect of PBRF on the quality of research being published: he draws upon overseas studies which suggest that the number of publications may have increased (there) but the overall quality has declined. Although he does not state that PBRF has had the same effect in New Zealand, he leaves that inference open. Professor Taggert also discusses some questions of etiquette and ethics whilst lamenting the lack of discussion or writing about academic legal ethics. He observes that proceedings, Festschriften and other memorial volumes, which contain almost as many contributions each year as the well. Professor Taggert then proceeds to tackle the impact of PBRF on teaching and administration. He says:

Providing incentives to do more research something that many legal academics want to do – g research over teaching – and let us make no mistake that encourages (tempts) legal academics to cut corners on teaching preparation, course materials, care and concern for students and their learning, and supervisions.

It is simultaneously comforting to read this observation (since it validates coffee conversations that have presumably taken place amongst law academics across the country) and disconcerting. The disconcerting feeling was further amplified by Profes write your own book and not to delay by reviewing those of others, all the while hoping that someone will review your book .

With a pressing need to bring this review to a close, it is necessary to observe that after the section on Professing there are two further sections on Advising and Judging, will consider a volume(s) of Sir -alone work, a suggestion made by Dame Sian Elias in her opening address.11

In the Foreword, Claudia Geiringer and Dean Knight suggest that they want to celebrate Sir Kenneth as they thought he would most want to be celebrated through advancing knowledge and understanding on the topics about which he cared. It is clear that PBRF would be).12 This book is not only a fitting tribute to an outstanding academic but is an excellent source of scholarly work in its own right. It is respectfully submitted that this book is an all round excellent read which will be sought out by anyone who is interested in the law.

Book review by Dr Myra Williamson, a law professor at KILAW.


  1. R v Hansen [2007] 1 NZLR 1 (NZSC).
  2. (2008) 6 NZJPIL 1, 35 and 161, respectively.
  3. Attorney-General v Transport Accident Investigation Commission [1997] 3 NZLR 269 (CA).
  4. Wellington District Legal Services Committee v Tangiora [1998] 1 NZLR 129 (CA).
  5. Sellers v Maritime Safety Inspector [1999] 2 NZLR 44 (CA).
  6. University of Canterbury School of Law, Academic Staff, available here.
  7. See University of Otago, Faculty of Law, Staff Profiles, available here University of Auckland, Faculty of Law, Academic Staff, available  at
  8. hereWaikato Law Faculty Staff Directory, available at here.
  9. September 2008, on file with the author. 10 Ibid, at 11.
  10. Ibid, at 11.
  11. See El
  12. This question is posed in the essay by Professor Taggert, see M Taggert

 

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