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The Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree is a higher doctorate and one of the University's most prestigious qualifications. It is awarded only to individuals who have published original contributions of special excellence in the history, philosophy, exposition or criticism of law. It is expected that an applicant will either be an Otago graduate or have had some formal association with the University.

There is no requirement for coursework or a supervised piece of original research. Rather, an intending candidate must lodge a formal application that includes books published by major companies, papers published in peer reviewed serials and, if approved by the Senate, unpublished reports. Copies of the submitted work will be sent to subject experts of national and international eminence for examination.

Conferral of the LLD is a mark of the high esteem in which the candidate's work is held by his or her peers in New Zealand and internationally.

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Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD)

  1. Eligibility

    1. The degree shall be awarded for published original contributions of special excellence in the history, philosophy, exposition or criticism of law.
    2. Every candidate for the degree must either
      1. have held the degree of Master of Laws for at least five years before applying for admission to the degree; or
      2. have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the degree.
    3. A candidate for the degree shall normally be a graduate of the University of Otago or shall have had some other formal academic association with the University.

  2. Application

    1. A candidate must apply for admission to the degree by submitting the following in the first instance:
      1. a curriculum vitae;
      2. an abstract and/or brief description of the work including a list of the published original contributions upon which the application is based; and
      3. a statutory declaration identifying the submitted work as original and stating that it has not previously been accepted for another university qualification. Where co-authored work is submitted, those parts which are the candidate's own should be identified, whereupon the University will advise if a case for the award of the degree exists (Note 1).
    2. Every candidate shall submit three soft-bound (Note 2) copies of the work upon which the application is based together with the required entry fee (Note 3).
    3. In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Senate, unpublished work may be submitted.
    4. Additional work, published or unpublished, may be submitted in support of the application.

    1. The application shall be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Research.
    2. Permanently bound copies are acceptable if the work is already in that format.
    3. The three copies of the work together with the administrative fee (as specified by the Graduate Research Committee) shall be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Research.

  3. Examination

    1. The submitted work shall be assessed by three examiners, appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities), at least one of whom shall be an overseas authority.
    2. Where the examiners cannot agree on a result, they should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities), who shall nominate a referee to advise the Senate.
    3. Upon the successful completion of the examination process, the thesis shall be submitted in accordance with the regulations governing Submission of Finalised Theses (section 14.4 of the Examination and Assessment Regulations 2014).

  4. Variations

    Notwithstanding anything in these regulations, the Senate shall have the discretion to vary any provision set down if, in its opinion, special or unusual circumstances warrant such variation.

    Note: The Senate has delegated authority over the LLD degree to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).

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