Otago doctorate for Bruce Harris

02 February 2012


Professor Bruce Harris of the Auckland Law School has graduated with the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Otago.

The LLD is commonly bestowed as an honorary degree and Bruce’s is only the fifth examined LLD awarded by Otago.

His was awarded in December after the examination of a compilation of his published work written around the broad theme of perspectives on the exercise of constitutional power.

Individuals who have published original contributions in the history, philosophy, exposition or criticism of law are eligible for the degree. Bruce, whose research interests are in constitutional and administrative law, submitted a collection of published articles, book chapters and a small monograph for examination for the LLD.

His research was particularly concerned with the legal sources of power vested in each of the three branches of government, the legal mechanisms facilitating the accountabilty of the executive and the judiciary, and the possible design of the legal underpinning of New Zealand's future constitutional arrangements.

Bruce graduated with an LLB(Hons) from Otago in 1974 and an LLM from Harvard in 1975. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1976.

He was appointed as a Professor of Law at The University of Auckland in 1994 after two years practising as a litigation lawyer and 17 years researching and teaching law at the University of Otago. In 1989 he was Dean of Law at Otago and from 1995 to 2000 he was Dean of Law at Auckland.

From March to September 2008 he was a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Bruce is currently the elected representative of the professors on The University of Auckland Council.