Returning from Scotland as law professor

09 March 2011

PROFESSOR JANET McLEAN Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Professor Janet McLean, a specialist in constitutional and administrative law, is returning to The University of Auckland Law School from Britain.

She has been appointed Professor of Law and will take up the position later this year.

Janet taught at Auckland from 1991 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2006 before becoming Professor of Law and Governance at the University of Dundee. At Auckland she rose from lecturer to associate professor and served for two years as Deputy Dean.

She teaches constitutional law, administrative law, legal method, comparative human rights law and common law theory. Public law topics on which she has published include human rights, the organisation of health services, the nature of the executive, privatisation, judicial review, and the effect of international law in domestic courts.

Her current research straddles British and New Zealand public law issues. She is working on a book project entitled “Searching for the State in British Legal Thought” and, with Dame Alison Quentin-Baxter, on another book project about the personal roles of the Queen and the Governor-General in New Zealand’s constitutional monarchy (funded by the NZ Law Foundation).

Janet holds an LLB(Hons) degree from Victoria University of Wellington and an LLM from the University of Michigan.

Earlier in her career she served as a legal research officer at the New Zealand Law Commission and a legislative drafter in Alberta, Canada. She taught for two years at Victoria University where she was Director of the New Zealand Institute of Public Law.

She has often acted as an adviser to the New Zealand government, serving on the Legislation Advisory Committee and on a ministerial inquiry into Human Rights Protection in New Zealand (2000). She has also contributed to the work of the World Health Organisation in the Western Pacific.

Currently Janet holds a Visiting Fellowship at Princeton University. She has held visiting fellowships at The Australian National University (2001) and the University of Dundee (2005) and was the George P. Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor at Indiana University at Bloomington in 2003.

At the University of Dundee she has served on the University’s and Law School’s Research Committees, on the Law School management team, and as Director of Postgraduate Studies (Research). She helped found and convene the Centre for Freedom of Information (a collaboration between the Law School and the Scottish Information Commissioner). She was voted the Law School’s best teacher for 2008-2009.

Janet’s husband, Professor Tim Mulgan, who is at St Andrews University, has accepted an appointment at Auckland as Professor of Philosophy starting in 2012.

Janet says she is “delighted to be coming home to the dynamic New Zealand legal scene, and to wonderful colleagues and students at The University of Auckland”.

The Dean of Law, Dr Andrew Stockley, says the Law Faculty is looking forward to welcoming Professor Janet McLean back to New Zealand. “When she taught at Auckland, she was extremely well regarded by the students and she contributed a great deal to the faculty, including a term as Deputy Dean. Professor McLean has an international reputation as a constitutional and administrative law scholar and we are delighted that she is returning to Auckland.”