Media Advisory 31 October 2016

Free public lecture from NZ Law Society’s executive director
The University of Waikato’s Faculty of Law is hosting a free public lecture by New Zealand Law Society executive director Christine Grice as part of its 25th anniversary lecture series. Her lecture will question what the law profession will look like in 10-50 years’ time, and how law firms and practitioners can adapt to ensure the law profession is healthy and sustainable in the future. Ms Grice has extensive experience as a litigation lawyer and acted as arbitrator or mediator in a variety of cases from complex commercial and multi-party cases to electronically conducted internet disputes. Her focus has been on commercial and corporate law. She has chaired a number of boards, including the Perry Group Ltd and Radio NZ Ltd. She is a former President of the NZ Law Society and sits as a judge of the Cook Islands High Court. The lecture is tomorrow, Tuesday November 1 from 5.30pm-8pm in N.1.03, Law Building, Hillcrest Road.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or dianam@waikato.ac.nz

Royal Society of New Zealand elects Fellows
University of Waikato Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smithis one of 19 New Zealand researchers and scholars elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Professor Smith is a Māori scholar in the social sciences whose research has re-shaped inquiry across many domains in the sciences and humanities. Her innovative research on indigenous knowledge facilitated the development and promotion of research methodologies that enable indigenous people to re-assert the integrity of their own knowledge bases and their own ways of knowing and engaging with the world. Her research spans language revitalisation, gender and youth issues, indigenous schooling, health and resilience, and indigenous knowledge and its interface with science, marginalisation and institutional change. 
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or ann.huston@waikato.ac.nz

Closing the justice gap
Waikato University law academic Les Arthur is calling for a higher increase in the monetary threshold for dispute tribunals and the development of an online court, saying it would enable more Kiwis to afford legal representation to secure access to justice. There’s a proposal to increase Dispute Tribunal claims from $15,000 to $30,000, but Mr Arthur thinks it should be raised to $50,000 with an online court facility to be used by litigants, with or without lawyers.  Mr Arthur says all essential details of a case and the evidence parties provide would be placed in an electronic file, available to both parties and the court. The software would guide parties through an analysis of a grievance in such a way as to produce a document capable of being understood by opponents and the decision maker. Mr Arthur, a former barrister and solicitor, says the online process would help ensure the key facts and evidence were clearly outlined before parties arrived at a hearing.
Contact: Les Arthur, 07 838 4466 ext 6021, or les.arthur@waikato.ac.nz

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