Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Canterbury law students to help prepare prosecution cases

Canterbury law students to help prepare prosecution cases

June 4, 2014

University of Canterbury law students will soon be helping Christchurch lawyer Nigel Hampton QC and Simon Meikle, barrister and solicitor of Wellington, prepare prosecutions cases relating to a number of alleged forestry safety violations leading to deaths.

Logging is New Zealand's third biggest export, behind dairy products and meat, with an industry worth $3.8 billion in overseas earnings last year. But the 10 forestry deaths recorded last year is seven times the average of Australia. The rate of ACC claims for work related injuries in the industry was six times the rate for all other industry sectors combined.

Hampton is assisting pro-bono in four cases against forestry companies for safety violations and is leading Council of Trade Unions’ prosecutions against logging contractors. He has received a judgment in a Rotorua forestry fatality case giving permission to proceed even though the case was technically out of time.

Four teams of UC law students, two per team, will be selected later next month to assist him to prepare and privately prosecute these cases, University of Canterbury director of clinical legal studies Professor Robin Palmer says.

``The Law School, through our clinical law programme, is helping select a number of law student volunteers to assist. We believe it is important for the graduate profile of all our law students that they are involved in the legal community so they are career-ready when they leave the university. From next year all our law students will have to give 100 hours of community legal service before they can graduate.

``We are also developing international exchanges to place students at international criminal courts and research issues relevant to certain cases. These student placements are all part of the broader public interest law movement initiated by the Dean of the Law School Associate Professor Chris Gallavin.’’

Hampton says his pro-bono involvement related four cases all resulting in deaths in the Bay of Plenty forestry areas.

``It’s great to get University of Canterbury law student support. They will prepare full timelines, setting out and highlighting factual issues along the particular line and assisting research into relevant statute and case law. The assistance of the law students will be invaluable, from my perspective.

``This may involve some comparative studies of other corresponding common law jurisdictions especially in Canada with its considerable forestry industry and the dramatic drop in fatalities there in more recent times.’’

University of Canterbury law students have begun volunteering their time, as part of the programme in collaboration with national organisation Law For Change New Zealand, to help Christchurch residents take court action against the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

The group action, led by law firm Anthony Harper, has 147 claimants. The action is seeking a declaratory judgment that EQC is not meeting its obligations under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993. About 50 law students are volunteering their time to help under the clinical legal studies programme at the university.

Professor Palmer says other law students would work alongside Environment Canterbury and the Department of Conservation in other initiatives while some law interns would help practitioners prepare submissions to Parliament on law reform bills.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news