The final of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association Moot was held on 3 October 2019 at the High Court, with the prizegiving hosted by Shortland Chambers later that evening.
The third year of the AWLA Moot was very successful. Sixteen teams from the University of Auckland and AUT University took party, grappling with a moot problem raising issues of how far is too far when it comes to lawyers publicly criticising judges. The feedback from the participants has been fantastic, with the students gaining valuable experience.
The final was held at the High Court before a panel of Justice Hinton, Kate Davenport QC and Dr Anna Hood. The panel of judges announced the result afterwards at Shortland Chambers, with the majority (Justice Hinton and Dr Anna Hood) allowing the appeal in what all considered to be a very close result. Despite the weather, there was fantastic turnout of judges, AWLA committee members, participants and spectators for the prizegiving.
The moot was well-received, with the problem even gaining national news coverage.
On 19 September 2019 Shortland Chambers held its 13th Annual Cocktail Party for the Auckland Legal Profession at the Northern Club.
We were honoured to have the Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann, an alumna of Shortland Chambers, speak at the event. The Chief Justice reflected on her first six months in the role and the challenges that lie ahead. Her speech ranged from the very practical, pulling back the curtain on what Supreme Court justices read before hearings and how they approach allocation of judgment writing, to the aspirational, discussing the Youth Adult List pilot currently taking place in the District Court that recognises the age cut-off for the Youth Court is arbitrary.
Justice Winkelmann said the time for tinkering was over and it was time for radical change. She emphasised the need for increased access to justice which pro bono work alone cannot solve, the need to recognise that prison often does more to harm than help and a move towards more visibility of goings-on in court, perhaps through live-streaming of Supreme Court argument.
Her speech was very well received – well enough to earn her an invite back to Friday night drinks at Shortland Chambers from Jane Anderson QC.
It was wonderful to enjoy the company of several hundred members of the legal profession. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2020.
Shortland Chambers recently participated in a three day “observation scheme” that Te Hunga Roia Maori (the Maori Law Society) is developing in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) for tauira Maori (Maori students).
This scheme provides tauira with an opportunity to observe and participate in t he day-to-day workings of a lawyer.
The NZBA Short Causes Working Group, led by immediate past President Clive Elliott QC, has proposed the introduction of a procedure for shorter trials in the High Court. It is based on the Shorter and Flexible Trials Scheme recently adopted by the High Court in England and Wales.
Members of the Working Group wish to present their proposal to the profession and seek their input and feedback. A roundtable type discussion will be held at Shortland Chambers at 5:30 pm on 1 August 2019. Drinks and snacks will be served.
If you are interested in this topic, please come along, to find out about this development and have your say.
Please RSVP if you are able to attend or if you have any questions call Alison Van Wyk at Shortland Chambers on ph (09) 309 1769.
Shortland Chambers hosted a function to introduce members of the NZBA Council and Diversity and Inclusion Committee to members of the Pacific Lawyers Association Executive. This function coincided with the announcement by Shortland Chambers of a new scholarship to be awarded to a Pacific Lawyers Association member to attend the NZLS Litigation Skills Programme. The inaugural recipient of this award is Kristy Ng Shiu.
Shortland Chambers is pleased to announce that Michael Robinson has joined as a member. Prior to moving to the independent bar, Michael was a partner at the national firm Simpson Grierson, and a member of the firm’s board. Michael advises and represents clients involved in civil, commercial and regulatory matters with particular expertise in banking and financial services, insolvency, property, trusts, and company law.
We wish Michael well in his career at the bar.