New Books on Youth Justice and the Evidence Act

11 August 2014
book covers aug 2014

Three Auckland Law School academics have had books published recently.

Senior Lecturers Alison Cleland and Khylee Quince have co-written Youth Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand: Law Policy and Critique.

Described as a “pioneering book” by a colleague, it was launched at Waipapa Marae at the end of July in collaboration with LexisNexis.

The guide looks at how the law deals with children and young people accused of committing offences. Co-author Alison Cleland says it contains the first ever Maori analysis of Aotearoa’s youth justice system.

“This is long overdue since Maori young people are vastly over-represented in the system and given that there have been claims that the family group conference process at the heart of the system is ‘indigenous’,” she says.

“We decided to write the book to accompany our Youth justice elective course and because we saw that there was no text bringing together a Maori critique and reference to international standards.”

The book contains the views of youth justice personnel, legal academics and students, criminologists and policy makers.

Key issues explored in-depth include

·       youth in the system – who they are and where they come from

·       whether the family group conference really is an ‘indigenous’ concept

·       mental health and the care and protection crossover

·       youth justice roles, including youth advocates and lay advocates

·       ‘reasonable compliance’ with the statute when police interview young people

·       offering youth court jurisdiction in serious cases

·       Rangatahi Courts and the future of the system.

Associate Professor Scott Optican has co-written the third edition of The Evidence Act 2006:Act and Analysis (Thomson Reuters: 3rd ed: July 2014: 712pp) with Professor Richard Mahoney from the University of Otago, and Associate Professors Elisabeth McDonald and Yvette Tinsley from Victoria University.

Since its initial publication in 2007, the book has been the leading and authoritative New Zealand text on the Act. Cited extensively in judicial decisions and academic writing, its section-by-section commentary blends description, analysis and critique in a wide-ranging explanation of the Act, its underlying principles and its individual provisions.

Comprehensively cross-referenced and organised in an accessible format, the revised book provides an updated examination of the Evidence Act and a thorough treatment of noteworthy court decisions (past and present) from the New Zealand Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court. It also highlights The 2013 Review of the Evidence Act 2006 by the New Zealand Law Commission and previews future amendments to the Act proposed by both the Law Commission and the New Zealand Cabinet.

The publication of the book marks the end of Scott Optician’s sabbatical leave and his return to teaching Evidence.