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Dr Jane Adams

Contact details

Room 2S6, Arts 1 (Burns) Building
Tel +64 3 479 5779

Academic qualifications

2017: PhD University of Otago
2001: BA (Hons, First Class, History) University of Otago
2001: LLB University of Otago

Research interests

Jane is a legal historian with a strong interdisciplinary focus. She researches law, medicine and society in New Zealand, within both historical and contemporary contexts. She has specific expertise in fertility, family formation and New Zealand’s medico-legal histories, and a developing specialisation in the intersections between access to justice and legal architecture.

Courses taught

HIST107 New Zealand in the World from the 18th Century
HIST230 Creating Kiwi Families: Historical and Legal Perspectives Since 1830
HIST333 Creating Kiwi Families: Historical and Legal Perspectives Since 1830
HIST234 Crime, Shame, Scandal in New Zealand
HIST401 Issues in New Zealand History

Research networks

  • Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, admitted 2005
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, admitted 2002
  • Member, Otago Women Lawyers Society
  • Member, Australia New Zealand Law and History Society
  • Member, Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine


Chapter in Book

Adams, J. (In Press). ‘“A Cloak and Dagger Situation’: Artificial insemination, secrecy and openness in New Zealand, 1950s to early 2000s” in Vera Mackie, Nicola Marks and Sarah Ferber (eds). The Reproductive Industry: Intimate Experiences and Global Processes. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Wheen, N., and Adams, J. (2003). “Environmental law and research II: field work” in The Law of Research – A Guide, J. Dawson and N. Peart (eds), University of Otago Press, 133-154.

Peart, N., Dunckley, C., and Adams, J. (2003). “Research on human tissue” in The Law of Research – A Guide, J. Dawson and N. Peart (eds), University of Otago Press, 211-232.

Adams, J. (2001). “Criminal lunacy” in Unfortunate Folk – Essays on mental health treatment 1863-1992, B. Brookes and J. Thomson (eds), University of Otago Press, 66-82.

Journal – Research Article

[In press] Adams, J., and Toy-Cronin, B. (In Press), “Nurturing Tradition in Dunedin: Courthouses, Lawyers, and Justice”, Otago Law Review.

Adams, J (2018). “Majesty and Modernity”, New Zealand Law Journal (April), 99.

Adams, J. (2016). “‘The ‘Coital Factor’: Medico-legal approaches towards Sexual Incapacity and Infertile Marriages in mid-twentieth century New Zealand”, New Zealand Journal of History 50, 1, 88-108.

Non-refereed Journal Articles and Reports

Adams, J. (2018). “Dunedin’s Hanging Judges”, Law Talk New Zealand Law Society 920 (August), 83-84.

Adams, J. (2018). “Celebrating 150 years of Auckland’s ‘Rip van Winkle’ courthouse”, Law News, Auckland District Law Society, 7 (16 March), 4-5.

Adams, J. (2018). “Demolition by neglect? The saga of Hamilton’s old court on the hill”, Law Talk New Zealand Law Society, 914 (February), 52-54.

Adams, J. (2017). “‘Distributed Courts”’: AVL in New Zealand’s Courts”, Law Talk New Zealand Law Society 912 (November), 64.

Adams, J. (2017). ‘The Evolution of Infertility’, The Dandelion, Fertility NZ newsletter, (April), 1-2.


Dougherty, I. (2018). “Courting History”, Otago Magazine, October.

Houlihan, M. (2018).‘Experience informs IVF research’, Otago Daily Times, 24 July.

‘IVF anniversary important, says Postdoctoral Fellow’, Faculty of Law news.

Adams, J. (2018). ‘Court audiovisual links - do they serve interests of justice?’ Radio New Zealand ‘Morning Report’ interview, 30 January.