Dean of the University of Oxford Faculty of Law and University of Otago alumna, Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart, will be acknowledged for her contribution to legal education with the conferring of one of Otago’s most prestigious qualifications this week.
Professor Chen-Wishart will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws on Wednesday 19 July.
She graduated from Otago with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History in 1982, a Bachelor of Laws in 1985 and a Master of Laws in 1988.
She was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law until she was awarded a Rhodes Visiting Research Fellowship at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1992.
She was appointed to the Oxford Faculty of Law and become a Tutorial Fellow in Law at Merton College and a Professor of the Law of Contract. She is currently the Dean of the Oxford Faculty of Law.
Professor Chen-Wishart also has a fractional appointment at the National University of Singapore and held Visiting Professorships in Asia, Australasia and Europe.
University of Otago Chancellor Stephen Higgs says Professor Chen-Wishart’s achievements at Otago, and in the years following, have been outstanding.
“We have had many distinguished academics in the Faculty over the years, and Professor Chen-Wishart is certainly one of them.”
After the initial disbelief wore off, Professor Chen-Wishart says she was “moved and delighted” by the degree.
“There’s something really special about being recognised by your home university. It’s like having your parents say that they are proud of you.”
Otago had a profound impact on her life, and the encouragement and support she received from lecturers helped shape her career, she says.
Faculty of Law Dean Professor Shelley Griffiths says Professor Chen-Wishart is an internationally regarded academic and expert in contract law.
“She has made a significant contribution to legal education and the exposition and understanding of the law in Asia and the UK, in particular.”
The conferring of the degree coincides with the 150th anniversary of law at Otago. To celebrate, the Faculty wanted to recognise the careers of distinguished alumni.