Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

About the Legal Issues Centre

Our vision

A justice system that is accessible, affordable, efficient, fair and just for all New Zealanders.

Our mission

Conduct independent, world-leading research on New Zealand’s justice system that examines its accessibility, affordability, efficiency, fairness and accuracy, with the purpose of informing and influencing policy and conduct.

Our values

Collaborative

We bring our particular expertise to initiatives where we work with others to achieve a common purpose — together we are stronger and more effective.

Fair and equitable

We work with integrity and we are attuned to issues of diversity. We embrace our obligations arising from Te Tiriti.

Courageous and transformative

Part of our work is challenging the status quo and we embrace our role of critic and conscience.

Rigorous

We are rigorous in the traditional academic sense and in an openness to other forms of knowledge and inquiry.

Background

The Legal Issues Centre is an interdisciplinary research centre based at the University of Otago. It undertakes research on access to justice with the goal of working towards a justice system that is accessible, affordable, efficient, fair and just for all New Zealanders. We conduct independent, world-leading research on New Zealand’s justice system in order to inform and influence policy and conduct, for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The Legal Issues Centre was established in 2007 by a generous donation from Marilyn and Grant Nelson (The Gama Foundation) and the University of Otago Foundation Trust. Mr and Mrs Nelson experienced a lengthy and expensive civil court case that they ultimately won in the Court of Appeal, however, the Nelsons saw firsthand the negative effects of protracted litigation. They established the Centre in order for research to be conducted on how the legal system can be made more accessible, affordable, efficient, fair and just for all New Zealanders.

The Centre investigates different aspects of New Zealand’s justice system in line with the Centre's Charter.

Key extracts from the Legal Issues Centre Charter (PDF)