Law teachers conferring en masse

02 July 2010

More than 200 university law teachers and librarians from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific are meeting in Auckland next week for a four-day conference.

Representatives from more than 30 law schools will discuss more than a hundred and fifty legal topics during the Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) conference from 4-7 July.

The conference begins with a plenary session addressed by New Zealand's Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias on "'Law like love': Why 'guardians of the law's rationality' fail to satisfy."

Among the speakers is Professor Jeremy Waldron, a New Zealander at New York University Law School, who will be talking about "Gangsters, statesmen and their lawyers: The rule of law on matters international."

Robert Orr QC, Chief General Counsel, Australian Government Solicitor, and New Zealand's Solicitor-General and David Collins QC in a later session will talk about the role of lawyers as advisers to government and how law teachers can best prepare future lawyers for this role.

There will be special interest sessions on 30 areas ranging from criminal law and revenue law to "Ethics and the legal profession" and "Practical legal training".

Among the 156 topics for discussion are "Rethinking the family after the Rudd apology to the Stolen Generations," "The limits of judicial review: When judges should stay on the bench," "It's just a game? Law's reach in the virtual worlds," "Carbon offsets: Fact or fantasy?" and "Why lawyers and law teachers should read novels instead of case reports: The art of storytelling."

This ALTA conference, which is being held at The University of Auckland Business School's Owen G Glenn Building, is the first to be staged in New Zealand for five years and the first in Auckland since 1983.

The University of Auckland, the conference host, will be represented by its Faculty of Law and the Business School’s Department of Commercial Law.

"ALTA is all about promoting excellence in law teaching and research, and our wide-ranging programme has been framed with this in mind," says conference secretary Professor Bruce Harris.

Legal publishers LexisNexis and law firm Russell McVeagh are the conference's gold sponsors.

For more information visit the 2010 ALTA conference website.