Associate Professor Bridgette Toy-Cronin, Te Kaupeka Tātai Ture Faculty of Law, has received a Marsden Fast Start Grant of $360,000 to investigate the roles of non-lawyer advocates in Aotearoa, which has a range of non-lawyer advisers operating in the justice system.
“These roles have been developed as a pragmatic solution to various problems in the system, including a lack of affordable representation,” she says.
“However, while that pragmatism is helpful for swiftly responding to issues, the piecemeal development means the country lacks a framework for thinking about the role of these advocates in social and constitutional arrangements, and the ethical principles that might govern their roles.
“I hope to be able to enrich the conversation about legal services in Aotearoa, and also contribute to the international conversation where non-lawyer advocates are increasingly seen as a possible solution to some of the access to justice problems that are common to many countries.”
Associate Professor Toy-Cronin says it is “humbling” to have the Royal Society’s support of the research.
“It means I can really dive deeply into the questions and have rich conversations with others, here and overseas, who are interested in these issues, so I’m very excited to get started.”
Distinguished Professor Jacinta Ruru, a colleague in Te Kaupeka Tātai Ture Faculty of Law, is an associate investigator on this study. She is supporting an objective to consider how ethical frameworks from Te Ao Māori inform non-lawyer and lawyer roles in our society.