Faculty of Law
The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Law is the largest of its kind in New Zealand. It boasts experts in a variety of fields, including commercial, public, human rights and environmental law.
The Auckland Law School offers a broad-based legal education. In addition to the core compulsory papers for the LLB degree, it has the largest range of elective courses in New Zealand. Located close to New Zealand’s busiest High Court, it is in the heart of the nation's commercial capital.
Academic staff are leaders in many fields of public and private law. Our LLB is an excellent platform for postgraduate study and legal research, as the law school offers a thriving LLM programme. In recent years there has been considerable growth at postgraduate level, with an even larger range of LLM courses for its own graduates, international students and the local profession.
The Auckland Law School aims to be a truly “global” law school. We have international linkages to the world’s best law schools through student and staff exchanges, visiting fellowships, and international programmes. Every year as part of the student exchange programme, 360º Auckland Abroad, around ten percent of Auckland’s final-year students spend one or two semesters at law schools abroad.
As well as employment in domestic legal practice, Auckland graduates are to be found in an increasing variety of jurisdictions and contexts: some in law firms in the world’s major cities, others working for international institutions and tribunals, still others for NGOs.
Located close to New Zealand's busiest High Court and in the heart of its largest commercial centre, the Auckland Faculty of Law is appropriately strong in commercial law. Professor Peter Watts, who teaches in the law of obligations, agency law, restitution, company and company finance law, is the editor and author of leading publications in the field.
Public and international law is another major strength. As the lead author of New Zealand’s foremost text, The New Zealand Bill of Rights (Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2003), Professor Paul Rishworth is the country’s leading legal academic expert on the New Zealand Bill of Rights. He continues to write extensively on human rights issues and remains involved in the litigation of civil rights issues. This strength is augmented by Kris Gledhill, who joined the faculty in 2007 after an appellate criminal and public law practice in England which included numerous appearances in precedent-setting cases. His research interests are mental health law, prison law, human rights law, and comparative criminal law.
Professor Jane Kelsey is known throughout the world to those with an interest in globalisation. She specialises in socio-legal scholarship, bringing the law into contact with politics, economics, social justice, colonialism and international relations. She is a frequent and highly-respected commentator on colonialism, globalisation and structural adjustment and is an elected member of the steering committee of the International Network for Cultural Diversity where she advises on the interface between international trade agreements and cultural policy.
Professor Klaus Bosselmann, who has consulted on public and environmental law for the European Community, the United Nations Environmental Programme, and German and New Zealand authorities, contributes to the faculty’s high profile in Environmental Law.
The faculty comprises several formal and informal research “clusters” or centres that reflect its expertise. The oldest, established in 1993, is the Research Centre for Business Law, which draws on the combined expertise of the Faculty of Law and the Department of Commercial Law in the Business School. The centre promotes research and writing in commercial law, organises lectures and seminars by resident and visiting experts, and sponsors publication of the New Zealand Business Law Quarterly.
The New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law provides a focal point for research, publication, and community service in environmental law in New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. It draws on resources throughout the University to develop and advance environmental policy locally, nationally and globally.
Another growing strength is in the study of the Māori dimension of New Zealand law. Te Tai Haruru is the Māori Legal Academics Group based at the Faculty of Law and consists of Khylee Quince and Dr Nin Tomas.