The Waikato Public Law and Policy Research Unit promotes the widest conception of Public Law and Policy, encompassing administrative law, charity and the regulation of civil society, constitutional law, criminal law and justice, and international law. It was established to fill a clear gap in the interrogation of these policy research areas in an integrated and holistic way.

About the Waikato Public Law & Policy Research Unit

Welcome to the Waikato Public Law and Policy Research Unit established in 2018 and hosted by Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato.

Te Piringa – Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato has an established tradition of outstanding scholarship in Public Law and Policy as demonstrated by the contributions of the Faculty’s founding Dean, Professor Margaret Wilson, and the late Professor Sir Grant Hammond.

Today a significant number of Faculty members continue to have research interests in these fields focused on the Faculty’s founding principles of professionalism, biculturalism, and the study of law in context.

Current work in the Faculty covers a wide range of common law jurisdictions, in addition to New Zealand and Pacific Island states, and extends from constitutional and administrative law and theory to giving effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and Māori and indigenous governance.


Members of the Unit are committed to producing ambitious cutting-edge work in a wide range of subject areas.

They seek to influence the national and international debates on significant issues and to shape both academic discourse and the development of a coherent body of law and public policy through the scholarly vitality, analytical rigour and creativity of their research.

Their legal research is carried out either individually as self-directed work or in collaboration with academics from across the Faculty, the wider University, or other institutions both nationally and worldwide (including the PluriCourts Centre at the University of Oslo and the William S Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i).

Our research in the field of international law, in particular, focuses on armed  conflict, conflict of laws, foreign investment law, humanitarian law, human rights, international criminal law, international environmental law, international trade, law of the sea, and public international law.

The University Law Library has been cited in successive editions of De Smith's Judicial Review (2013 and 2018) as the authoritative online resource about New Zealand experience and judgments in the field of judicial review and reflects the Faculty’s research expertise in this area.


The seminars aim to raise awareness and debate about concepts of public law and policy, and in doing so these seminars examine a number of challenging legal issues and topics that are prominent in the public domain.  Thus these seminars will be of interest to the legal community as a whole, to practitioners, and to students alike.   The seminars draw upon the legal skills and knowledge of eminent legal academics and practitioners to talk on specific legal issues, which provides holistic and objective discussions of the legal topics in question.

Our people

Meet the members of the Waikato Public Law and Policy Research Unit and learn more about their research.

Their research publications can be accessed online via the University’s research publications database and Research Commons.

Eminent scholars from the Faculty in the field of public law and policy include Honorary Professor Sir David Baragwanath (President of the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon 2011-2015), Professor Margaret Bedggood (formerly Chief Human Rights Commissioner), the late Professor Sir Grant Hammond (President of the New Zealand Law Commission 2010-2016), Honorary Professor Paul Hunt (United Nations Special Rapporteur on Health and Human Rights 2002-2008), and Professor Margaret Wilson (formerly Speaker of the House of Representatives).

Visitors to the Unit include Professor Alberto Costi, Victoria University Wellington; Professor Duncan French, University of Lincoln (UK); Professor Jon Gould, American University (Washington DC); Professor Michael Hahn, University of Berne (Switzerland); Professor Markus Haward, University of Tasmania; Dr Julia Jabour, University of Tasmania; Dr Catherine MacKenzie, University of Cambridge; Professor Michel Prieur, University of Limoges (France); Dr Friederich Soltau, UN Secretariat (New York); Ms Kerry Tetzlaff, University of Cambridge.

External members of the Unit include our distinguished alumni Rachel Devine of Minter Ellison, Dr Anna Kirk and Rebecca Rose of Bankside Chambers, and Kevin Glover of Shortland Chambers.