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Revitalising bi-cultural connections

Revitalising bi-cultural connections

For someone born in Britain, new School of Law Dean Professor Scott Davidson has distinctly antipodean ambitions for the school’s future.

“My vision for the Waikato School of Law is that it be clearly acknowledged as one of the best in Australasia and that it develops its reputation as the center of excellence when it comes to teaching law relevant to bi-culturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Professor Davidson, who has taken up his appointment this month, stresses this vision is not just relevant to the relatively high (30%) proportion of Mâori students in the School.

“Having a clear focus on legal issues to do with bi-culturalism and the Treaty is essential for all Waikato law students, as an understanding of these issues helps them understand the way our society works and some of the biggest legal issues confronting it.

“At the moment you only have to say ‘foreshore’ and that raises a plethora of legal and political matters. Our approach to teaching law aims to give students a more sophisticated knowledge of the underlying issues.”

Professor Davidson says his vision fits in clearly with the commitment to biculturalism that is one of the School of Law’s founding principles. “I’m very keen to re-energise that commitment.”

Apart from the past two years, Professor Davidson has been working in New Zealand since 1989 and his main fields of teaching and research interest are public international law, the law of the sea and human rights.

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