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Environmental Adjudication in the 21st Century

Monday 15 May 2017 12:58pm


On 11 April,, the Environment Court of New Zealand and the University of Otago - with generous support from the Royal Society of New Zealand, hosted a Symposium on 'Environmental Adjudication in the 21st Century' at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.

More than 200 people attended the Symposium, to hear Judges and academics from around the globe discuss and debate the challenges for environmental adjudication in the coming decades.

Proceedings were opened by Justice Kos, President of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, with Lord Carnwath, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, delivering the keynote speech.

Chairing the proceedings were Principal Environment Court Judge, Laurie Newhook, and Associate Professor Ceri Warnock from the Otago Faculty of Law.

Six Otago law students, Charlotte Aspin, Kalyani Dixit, Sophie Ironside, Elloise Kidd, Oska Rego and Clare Poulgrain were recipients of scholarships awarded by, enabling them to attend and participate in running the Symposium.

Along with participating in the Symposium, the students were also instrumental in facilitating a workshop held the following day, 12 April, at the Environment Court in Auckland, at which the plenary presenters, the New Zealand Environment Court Judges, and a number of academics were able to discuss and debate issues raised during the plenary sessions in depth.

Organisers received outstanding feedback on the success of the Symposium, with presenters highly praising the Otago students for their knowledge, diligence and the professional attitude they showed – a professionalism that was maintained even during the enjoyable social events!

Symposium Presenters included:
• Honourable Justice Brian Preston SC, New South Wales Land and Environment Court
• Honourable Justice Samson Okong’o, Environment Court of Kenya
• His Honour Judge Michael E Rackemann, Planning and Environment Court, Queensland
• Hon Michael D Wilson, Supreme Court of Hawai’i
• Professor Denise Antolini, University of Hawai'i
• Professor Tracy Hester, University of Houston
• Chief Justice Rafael Asenjo Zegers, Environment Court of Chile
• Dr Gitanjali Nain Gill, University of Northumbria
• Ben Boer, Distinguished Professor at the Research Institute of Environmental Law, University of Wuhan and Emeritus Professor at University of Sydney, Law School
• Principal Judge Laurie Newhook and Judge David Kirkpatrick, New Zealand Environment Court

For more information, you can visit the website