Major law award for Waikato professor

8 December 2015

Professor Neil Boister

Professor Neil Boister

A University of Waikato professor and an alumnus were presented with two major awards at the New Zealand Law Foundation 2015 Annual Awards in Wellington on 4 December.

International and criminal law expert Professor Neil Boister was granted the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellowship, New Zealand’s premier legal research award, valued at up to $125,000.

This fellowship is awarded annually to enable an individual of outstanding ability to undertake legal research that will make a significant contribution to New Zealand. The title of Professor Boister’s research project is ‘The simplification of New Zealand’s law of extradition’.

“There has been growing pressure on states to make extradition easier by simplifying the conditions,” says Professor Boister. “Extradition is a notoriously difficult process.”

“The aim of this project is to analyse New Zealand’s law of extradition within the context of the global trend towards simplification of extradition.”

The project will critically evaluate New Zealand’s extradition law in light of its international commitments to cooperate in extradition and selected extradition regimes that have been developed at a regional and global level.

“The objective of the project is to determine whether New Zealand’s extradition law provides an acceptable basis for the extradition of individuals to and from New Zealand,” says Professor Boister.

“The yardsticks against which acceptability will be measured are the necessity for effective international cooperation against crime, balanced against the necessity of respecting the human rights of the individuals subject to the extradition process.”

The project will involve analysis of the domestic, international and comparative legal frameworks for extradition. It will also involve an extensive schedule of interviews of extradition lawyers (both prosecution and defence), global criminal justice policy experts, academic experts, and human rights critics of extradition in Canada, the US, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the EU, England, Scotland to try to isolate what they think the technical and conceptual problems are with the current global trends in extradition law. These will be carried out in a series of research trips to North America and Europe.

The Cleary Memorial Prize was awarded to University of Waikato alumnus Ashiq Ghazi Hamid. This prize is awarded in memory of Sir Timothy Cleary, past President of the Wellington District and New Zealand Law societies, and a Judge of the Court of Appeal. This prize, worth $5000, is awarded annually to a young barrister or solicitor who shows the most future promise in the legal profession.