International law

International law is becoming increasingly relevant in the day to day lives of New Zealanders. That’s despite New Zealand being far away from many of the world’s dominant and dominating nations. Trade and business is becoming more global, thanks largely to technology; fisheries and other natural environments are threatened because of over use and climate change; always, there seems to be conflict within and between nations.

New Zealand cannot ignore its obligations under international laws and treaties and because of our neutrality on many issues we can often make valuable contributions to solving international conflict. Professor Al Gillespie was New Zealand’s first rapporteur Rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, involving international environmental diplomacy. He is also the legal and policy advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Conservation and provides commissioned work for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and commercial and non-governmental organisations in New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Waikato researchers cover the laws of war, international peacekeeping, conservation, immigration and the impacts of international treaties how they are used by the state and the courts and whether they influence domestic legislation, policy and practice.

Our researchers active in this area include: