The 2018 Annual Norris Ward McKinnon Lecture

Aiming at Simplicity, by the Hon Robert Fisher QC

Can law be simpler? It may not be apparent to those inside the legal tent, but law is complicated. This is obvious to the public who have to make sense of what lawyers say. The legal world also pays a great price. At best, hacking their way through unnecessary complexity wastes time and money. At worst, it can derail the whole attempt to think clearly.

Simple concepts promote lucid reasoning. Simple language is more readily understood. It is up to everyone in the legal community - judges, advocates, solicitors, lecturers and textbook writers – to do better. The Hon Robert Fisher will share his insights and offer some ideas as to how to go about that.

Date: Thursday, 11 October 2018
Time: 6:00pm, pre-lecture drinks from 5:30pm
Venue: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato
Please RSVP here by 4 October.

About the Hon Robert Fisher QC

Prior to establishing his practice as a mediator and arbitrator in 2004, the Hon Robert Fisher QC practiced law for 24 years until his appointment to the High Court in 1989. As a judge he held positions as Chairman of the NZ Rules Committee, Supervising Judge of the Commercial List, Executive Judge of the Auckland High Court, Senior Judge of the Auckland High Court, and divisional member of the NZ Court of Appeal. He has published and lectured on relationship property, evidence, procedure, intellectual property, maritime law, jurisprudence, advocacy, mediation and arbitration. His qualifications and appointments include Doctor of Laws (1984), Queen’s Counsel (1985) and Fulbright Scholar (1994).

He is a member of the Courts of Appeal of Samoa and the Cook Islands and has provided a series of public interest inquiry reports for the New Zealand Government.

The Annual Norris Ward McKinnon Lecture at Te Piringa - Faculty of Law

Te Piringa – Faculty of Law is delighted to continue its collaboration with Norris Ward McKinnon hosting this public event for the second time.

Designed as an annual event, the lecture series began as a way to address issues relating to the development of jurisprudence in New Zealand.

Now running for over 27 years, the Annual Norris Ward McKinnon Public Lecture brings distinguished scholars and members of the profession to the Waikato campus. This series has attracted national attention for its roster of speakers selected from New Zealand’s leading experts in the field of jurisprudence, NZ law and policy, and social justice. Over the years, distinguished guest speakers included Dame Sian Elias, Hon. Justice Baragwanath, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Dame Sylvia Cartwright and many others.

The series helped to foster the relationship between the Hamilton Legal profession, the Hamilton law society and Te Piringa – Faculty of Law.

The lecture is traditionally the lead article in Waikato Law Review.

In 2017 Norris Ward McKinnon established a generous postgraduate scholarship to support PhD students’ research in their chosen field. Both, the Faculty and the firm believe that the scholarships will further foster collegiality, and bringing researchers and legal practitioners together to share and learn from the outcomes of the research.

Norris Ward McKinnon is a full service legal firm with nearly 100 years of history and expertise in the Waikato region.  The firm celebrates its centenary in 2019 and prides itself on looking after clients with professionalism and respect, offering clients specialist legal expertise backed by experience.