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Friday 16 August 2024


Topic and Speakers

Sponsored by


Coffee and tea on arrival


Mihi whakatau and conference opening 
Sponsor Introductions


Keynote 1 – Hon Judith Collins KC, Attorney-General of New Zealand


Role of judges in representative democracies

In an era marked by a global pandemic, cultural and geopolitical conflicts, and a threat of catastrophe for biodiversity and human societies, the judiciary's role in contemporary Australian and New Zealand society has never been more important. This panel will delve into the multifaceted roles judges perform—from interpreting and applying the law, to acting as a bastion against governmental overreach, to defending fundamental ideals and values, to being agents of societal change.

We'll explore how judges contribute to the development of the law and social progress, uphold the separation of powers, and ensure the stability and predictability necessary for civic peace and prosperity.

Chair: Bernadette Roka Arapere (Ngāti Raukawa te au ki te Tonga, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto) – Kōkiri Chambers, NZ

Hon Justice Stephen Kόs - Te Kōti Mana Nui o Aotearoa |Supreme Court of New Zealand
Hon Patrick Keane AC KC - former Judge of the High Court of Australia
Una Jagose KC - Solicitor-General of New Zealand
Professor Andrew Geddis - University of Otago


Morning Tea


Institutional child sex abuse claims – Getting the right policy settings

Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concluded in 2017. The Royal Commission's final report made wide-ranging recommendations concerning prevention strategies, changes to laws and policies, and ways to provide justice to survivors of child abuse.

The Australian government and various state and territory governments have taken steps to implement these recommendations and the courts have now delivered a number of important judgments in the area. Against that background, we ask have the settings in the Australian policy responses been the right ones? What lessons are available to New Zealand, whose own Royal Commission on this subject matter is due to report later this year?

Chair: Wendy Aldred - Stout Street Chambers, NZ

Roisin Annesley KC - Lennon’s List Barristers, Victoria, AUS
Dr James Plunkett - Lennon’s List Barristers, Victoria, AUS


Navigating the New Frontier: Legal Ethics in the Digital Age

As AI integrates into legal research, case prediction, and even client interactions, what do barristers need to know to serve their clients’ interests? What are the ethical considerations that barristers need to confront? In an age where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, how can barristers safeguard client confidentiality and ensure the integrity of sensitive information they hold? This presentation will explore these pressing questions, offering insights into the ethical challenges and professional opportunities presented by digital advancements.

Chair: Savanna Gaskell – Barristers New Zealand, NZ  
Michael Green SC – Level 22 Chambers, Sydney, AUS


Lunch - including wine tasting


Keynote 2:  LGBTIQA+ inclusion, language, and diversity

We’re honoured to announce that Dr Matt Collins KC will deliver a keynote address on the transformative power of visibility for LGBTIQA+ barristers, the imperative of embedding diversity into the fabric of our profession, and the relationship between inclusion and merit.

Dr Collins was the President of the Australian Bar Association in 2021-22. He was Vice-President of the ABA from 2019–21 and, before that, President of the Victorian Bar from 2017-19. He is a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and a member of the Board and Council of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration.

In 2019, Dr Collins was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law, to legal standards, and to education. In 2020, he was named one of Australia’s 50 Outstanding LGBTI+ Leaders by Deloitte Australia.

This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in embracing the richness of diversity and fostering an inclusive legal community across Australia and New Zealand. Come to listen, learn, and be inspired to action by one of the most influential voices in our field.

Chair:  Esther Watt – Stout Street Chambers, NZ


Judicial responses to misconduct by prosecutors and the police

Australia and New Zealand have both had their share of high-profile criminal disclosure failures by the prosecution and wrongful investigative conduct by the police. In this panel session, experts from the bench and either side of the criminal bar will explore the intricate, sometimes difficult balance involved in upholding the integrity of the legal system, ensuring fair trials, and convicting and punishing the guilty of serious crimes.

Chair: Hon. Justice Andru Isac - Te Kōti Matua o Aotearoa | High Court of New Zealand 

Madeleine Laracy - Deputy Solicitor-General (Criminal), NZ
Ruth Shann SC - Parnell's Barristers, AUS
Kirsten Edwards SC - Forbes Chambers, AUS
Elizabeth Hall - Pipitea Chambers, NZ


Afternoon tea


Keynote 3:  Mental health at the bench and bar

We are delighted to have Justice O'Meara deliver a keynote address at our conference, continuing the conversation on mental health at the bench and bar. The Judge’s powerful and brutally honest address to the Victorian Bar Readers' Dinner resonated deeply with lawyers on both sides of the Tasman, laying claim to the most forwarded speech by the legal profession in this part of the world in 2023.

By courageously acknowledging his personal experience, Justice O'Meara's speech gave everyone else in the profession "permission" to prioritise their wellbeing and seek support. Join us for an inspiring session that advocates for mental health awareness and resilience in the legal community. 

Chair:  Genevieve Haszard - Kate Sheppard Chambers, NZ


Casual drinks and canapés - Reds Bar within the Rydges Hotel

Wind up the first day of the conference by joining us for casual drinks and canapes.


Saturday 17 August 2024


Topic and Speakers

Sponsored by


Climate change litigation

Is bringing legal proceedings in the courts an effective strategy in the fight against climate change, or is it merely a vanity project? Can the courts play a significant role in addressing the climate emergency, or are Parliament, the Executive and international bodies better equipped to tackle this enormous global challenge? 

A panel of experts will delve into these complex questions, exploring the impact and potential limitations of climate change litigation. Discover different perspectives on the role of the judiciary versus other institutions in combating climate change, and gain insights into the intersection of law, policy, and environmental advocacy. This will be an engaging discussion on one of the most critical issues of our time.

Chair: Martin Williams - Shakespeare Chambers, NZ

Hon. Tony Randerson KC - former judge of the Court of Appeal | Te Kōti Pīra o Aotearoa 
Emrys Nekvapil SC - Victorian Bar, AUS
Jenny Cooper KC - Shortland Chambers, NZ
Sophie Marjanac - ClientEarth, UK


Civil remedies

We’re told from our first days at law school that there’s no right without a remedy. Sometimes we’re even told it in Latin — Ubi jus ibi remedium — to reinforce its importance. However, despite sparking complex conceptual puzzles and raising crucial strategic considerations, remedies are still commonly sidelined in litigation. This panel looks at the latest important and interesting cases in this critical field.

Chair: Lauren Lindsay - Bankside Chambers, NZ

Hon Justice Goddard - Te Kōti Pīra o Aotearoa | Court of Appeal of New Zealand, NZ
Hon Justice Perram - Federal Court of Australia, AUS


Morning tea


Comparative indigenous issues

Australia and New Zealand have very different colonisation narratives but they share the fundamental common challenge of navigating the discord between the English common law and indigenous legal frameworks.

This panel session will see leading legal scholars and practitioners probe the complexities of indigenous legal issues. The challenges, complexities, and opportunities surrounding indigenous rights, sovereignties, and self-determination will be examined in a comparative context, drawing parallels and distinctions between the Australian and New Zealand experiences. 

Chair: Matanuku Mahuika (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa)
Hon. Justice Kiri Tahana (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino, Tapuika)
Ahorangi Professor Khylee Quince (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu)
Avelina Tarrago (Wangkamahdla)


Conference closing 




Optional activities for those who have pre-registered


Formal dinner - The Winehouse in Gibbston Valley

Guest speaker:  Justice Jane Anderson – Te Kōti Matua o Aotearoa | High Court of New Zealand 


Please note: while we try to adhere to the programme, we may have to change session times and presenters. We will keep these changes to the minimum necessary.