ADLS hosts launch of second edition of New Zealand Women’s Law Journal

The second issue of the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal — Te Aho Kawe Kaupapa Ture a ngā Wāhine was launched at the end of last year in Wellington and Auckland. The Auckland launch took place at ADLS’ Chancery Chambers premises, and a $1,500 prize sponsored by ADLS for the best article was awarded.

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The Journal is the only academic publication solely dedicated to the work of women lawyers in New Zealand. It was born over a conversation between friends in the Auckland Law School student common room in June 2016. Ana Lenard and Allanah Colley were grappling with the question “what next?” after six years of Law School, and wanted to do something to make a meaningful contribution to the legal profession and wider society using the skills they had gained through studying law. They decided an academic legal journal would be a good way to advocate for gender equality in and through the law — and did not anticipate, in 2016, just how relevant the Journal would become with the events that unfolded in the legal profession over the past year. This edition not only discusses the work we need to undertake in our own profession, but also how we can best serve the women in our communities and how the law can be a source of protection and change in our society.

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This most recent issue contains an address by Lady Brenda Hale about her career in the law and her experiences of the treatment of women lawyers. A “State of the Nation” piece brings together the work of five wāhine toa whose voices are often missed from conversations about the culture of the legal profession. The Journal also has a piece from Gill Gatfield about the continuing relevance of her research in the early 1990s on discrimination in the legal profession.

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There are articles about gender-neutral legislative drafting and why it took so long for the pay equity debate to be “reactivated” by the Court of Appeal’s decision in Terranova. Two international law articles cover the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict and Japan’s silencing of its “comfort women” and the Tokyo Women’s Tribunal.

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And finally, a number of commentaries examine: how to break the cycle of discrimination and harassment suffered by New Zealand’s women lawyers; the law of consent and what amounts to reasonable belief in consent in the context of relationship expectations; the employment status of relief care support workers; claiming ACC compensation for lost wages following a wrongful birth; and a potential pathway to holding the police accountable for failing to investigate complaints of sexual offending.

The ADLS prize for the best article was awarded to Litia Tuiburelevu. Her piece examines the attitudes of Pasifika women towards the legal profession and how their respective cultural contexts have been addressed by judges with reference to three recent decisions. She concludes the status of Pasifika women within the justice system demands attention and further dedicated research. The article pioneers a pathway for future work in this space.

The Journal is kindly sponsored by LexisNexis, the University of Auckland Faculty of Law, Antonia Fisher QC, Alex McDonald, Buddle Findlay and ADLS. It can be purchased in hard copy or is available for free online at www.womenslawjournal.co.nz. Applications for staff for 2019 will be opening soon, and submissions for the 2019 issue close on 1 April 2019. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Editors-in-Chief at editors@womenslawjournal.co.nz

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