Faculty of Law

Warren Brookbanks




Contact details
Building 803, room 218
17 Eden Crescent

Phone: +64 9 923 8030
Email: wj.brookbanks@auckland.ac.nz


Warren Brookbanks has been with the Faculty of Law since 1983, having been in private and governmental practice before that. Warren has an international reputation in the fields of criminal law, mental health law and therapeutic jurisprudence. He is co-author of the leading text Simester and Brookbanks, Principles of Criminal Law, Brookers, Thomson Reuters, now in its fourth edition (2012), and co-author of Bell and Brookbanks Mental Health Law in New Zealand, also in its second edition (2005). He has also edited a volume of essays: Psychiatry and the Law (2007) and co-edited Criminal Justice in New Zealand (2007) with Julia Tolmie. In 2011 Warren published Competencies of Trial: Fitness to Plead in New Zealand. Warren is well known in the New Zealand profession and in the community for his advice and consultancy, and service on various boards and trusts.

Special Interests

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Defences
  • Mental Health Law
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Courses Taught

  • LAW 201 Criminal Law
  • LAW 346 Criminal Law and Policy
  • LAW 406 Advanced Criminal Law
  • LAW 448 Psychiatry and the Law
  • LAWHONS 715 Criminal Law and Policy
  • LAWGENRL 712 Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Brief C.V.

Appointed Professor, 2006
Joined the Faculty of Law, 1983
Staff Solicitor, Flavell & Wallace, Barristers & Solicitors, Papatoetoe, 1981-1982
District Solicitor, Department of Māori Affairs, Manukau City, 1978-1979
Probation Officer, Justice Department, Auckland, 1976-1977
Staff Worker, Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship, 1973-1975
Law Clerk/Staff Solicitor, Burt Moodie, Goold & Francis, Barristers & Solicitors, 1971-1973

BD, Melbourne 1990
LLM (Hons), Auckland 1981
LLB, Auckland 1972
Admitted to Bar, Auckland 1972

Recent publications

Books and Book Chapters

  • WJ Brookbanks, “ Managing the Challenges and Protecting the Rights of Intellectually Disabled Offenders” in B McSherry and I Freckelton (eds), Coercive Care Rights, Law and Policy, (Routledge, 2013)
  • WJ Brookbanks, “The New Face of Preventive Detention in New Zealand: Public Protection orders” in P Keyzer (ed) Preventive Detention: Asking the Fundamental Questions ( 2013 Intersentia, Cambridge).
  • WJ Brookbanks, Competencies of Trial: Fitness to Plead in New Zealand (2011, Lexis Nexis, Wellington)
  • AP Simester and WJ Brookbanks, Principles of Criminal law 4th edn (2012, Thomson Reuters, Wellington)
  • W Brookbanks, “Partial Defences to Murder in New Zealand” in A Reed and M Bohlander (eds), Loss of Control and Diminished Responsibility: Domestic, Comparative and International Perspectives, ( 2011, Ashgate, Farnham)
  • W Brookbanks, “Privacy and Mental Health”, in S Penk and R Tobyn (eds), Privacy Law in New Zealand, ( 2010, Thomson Reuters, Wellington)
  • J. Tolmie and WJ. Brookbanks (eds), Criminal Justice in New Zealand (2007, LexisNexis, Wellington).
  • WJ. Brookbanks & AIF Simpson (eds), Psychiatry and the Law (2007, LexisNexis, Wellington).
  • AP Simester and WJ Brookbanks, Principles of Criminal Law 3rd edn (2007, Brookers’, Wellington).
  • S Bell and WJ Brookbanks, Mental Health Law in New Zealand, 2nd edn (2005, Brookers, Wellington).
  • Chapter 16, "Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons)" Adams on Criminal Law (1992, Brookers, Wellington). Commentary written in 2004.
  • "Partial Defences to Murder in New Zealand" Appendix D in Partial Defences to Murder: A Consultation Paper, Law Commission, Consultation Paper No 173 (London: Law Commission, 2003).
  • "The Physical Discipline of Children: Proposals for Reform" in JB Robertson (ed) Gerry Orchard Memorial Essays (Wellington: Thomson/Brookers, 2004) 163 -181.
  • "Mental Health Law" in PDG Skeggard R Paterson, Medical Law in New Zealand (2007, Brookers, Wellington).
  • "New Zealand’s Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care) Legislation in K Diesfeld and I Freckelton (eds), Involuntary Detention and Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2003, Ashgate, Aldershot) 529 -551.
  • "Sexual Predators, Extended Supervision, and Preventative Social Control: Risk Management Under the Spotlight" (2007), Journal of Medical Health Law 97.
  • "Fitness to Stand Trial" (2007) New Zealand Law Journal 394.

Recent Articles

  • “Fitness to Plead- Best Interets versus Autonomy: Does a Defendant’s Paranoia Matter?” ((2013) 20/1 Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 1-8.
  • “Provocation and Sentencing” [2013] NZLJ 121-124.
  • W Brookbanks & J Skipworth, “Sentence Indications and Preventive Detention” [2013] NZLJ 201-204.
  • Case Note, “Attempts Liability in New Zealand” [2012] JCCL 357 – 366.
  • WJ Brookbanks & RD Mackay, “Decisional Competence and ‘Best Interests’: Establishing ther Threshold for Fitness to Stand Trial” (2010) 12/2 Otago Law Review 265-284.
  • “At a s9 hearing” [2010] NZLJ 30-33
  • “Section 9 hearings” [ 2009] NZLJ 430-432.
  • WJ Brookbanks, Book Review, Law, Mind and Brain, M Freeman & OR Goodenough (eds) (2009) 122/1269, New Zealand Medical Journal.
  • “Special Hearings under CPMIPA” [2009] NZLJ 30-34.
  • WJ Brookbanks, Book Review, Rehabilitating Criminal Lawyers, D Wexler (ed) 2008, [2010] NZLJ 125-126.
  • “Provocation: Psychological Precursors for Loss of Self- Control as a Mitigatory Claim”, (2009) 15(3) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 196-216.
  • "Mental Health Act and Criminal Procedure Act: who has right of way? (2005) 3/5 New Zealand Family Law Journal 60-62.
  • RD Mackay and WJ Brookbanks, "Protecting the Unfit to Plead: A Comparative Analysis of the "Trial of the Facts" (2005) Juridical Review 173.
  • Book Review, The Law of Research: A Guide, J Dawson & N Peart (eds), 2003, Dunedin, University of Otago Press, (2004) 5 New Zealand Bioethics Journal, 31-34.
  • "Narrative Competence and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Moving Towards a Synthesis" (2003) 20 Law in Context 74-94.
  • "Narrative Medical Competence and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Some Preliminary Thoughts" (2003) 4 New Zealand Bioethics Journal 16 -21.
  • "Insanity in the Criminal Law: Reform in Australia and New Zealand" (2003) The Juridical Review 81-102.
  • " New Developments: Bioethics and Health Law in New Zealand-Law Commentary" (2003) 4 New Zealand Bioethics Journal 5, 9.
  • "Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Implications for Judging" [2003] New Zealand Law Journal 463 -467, 472.

Recent Government Reports

  • "The Implications of the Sentencing Act 2002 regarding the Partial Defences of provocation and Infanticide" Background paper prepared for the Ministry of Health, and negotiated through Auckland UniServices Ltd, 1 November 2004.
  • "Partial Defences to Murder in New Zealand" Background paper prepared for English Law Commission, Appendix D in Partial Defences to Murder, A Consultation Paper, (London: Law Commission, 2003).

Recent Papers Presented

  • Paper entitled: “Solution Focused Judging” presented at District Court Judges seminar on Solution Focused Judging, James Cook Hotel, Wellington, 11-12 July 2013.
  • Paper entitled : “Recent Developments in Fitness to Plead,” presented at Mental Health Law Conference, Te Papa, Wellington, 28 March 2012.
  • Paper entitled “Law and Addiction”, presented at Higher Judges Conference, Rotorua, 20-22 April 2012.
  • Keynote address entitled, “ Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Corrections”, presented at Corrections Department Annual Conference, Wellington, 19 June 2012.
  • Paper entitled, “ Victims and the Criminal Justice System: When is Enough Enough?” presented at Criminal Law Congress, Queenstown, 16 September 2012.
  • Paper entitled, “ Insanity and Fitness to Plead – Current Issues and Problems”, seminar presented to Meredith Connell prosecutors, Auckland, March 15 2012.
  • Keynote address entitled, “ New Zealand’s Three Strikes Legislation: Sound Policy or Penal Excess?” presented at the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2011 Joint Conference, Wellington, 16 -19 November 2011.
  • Paper entitled “Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Criminal Law: Is there a Role for Healing in the Criminal Justice System?” presented at School of Social and Cultural Studies Seminar Series, Victoria University of Wellington, 19 October 2011.
  • Paper entitled , “Claim of Right: Exploring its Boundaries as a Legal Defence” , presented at ther Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Auckland 5 July 2010.
    Paper entitled: "Developments in Neuroscience and the Law: Is mens rea behind us?", paper presented at Justice Horizons Seminar, Ministry of Justice, Wellington, 5 June 2007.
  • Paper entitled: "Mentally Impaired Offenders in New Zealand" presented to seminar organised by the Judicial Studies Institute for judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal, Wellesley Club, Wellington, 7 November 2005.
  • Paper entitled: "New Generation Hospital orders in New Zealand- Whose benefit?" presented to 24th Annual Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Wellington Civic Centre, 3-6 November 2005.
  • Paper entitled: "Sexual Predators and Extended Supervision" presented to one day seminar on Developments in Mental Health Law held at Northumbria University, Newcastle, on 14 October 2005.
  • Paper entitled: " Some thoughts on Self-Control in Provocation" staff seminar presented to members of the Faculty of Law, de Montfort University , Leicester, on Weds 12 October 2005.
  • Paper entitled: "Section 16 Reviews - Civil Liberties and Other Leal Issues" presented to Section 16 Symposium/Discussion Forum-Policy and Practice Considerations, Ministry of Health, Wellington, 31 March 2004.



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