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Speaker Announced for Lecretia Seales Memorial Lecture 2017

Media Release
Lecretia’s Choice
For Immediate Release

Professor Doug Sellman has been named as this year’s speaker for the annual Lecretia Seales Memorial Lecture in Law Reform. Professor Sellman will discuss the consequences and effects of the government’s Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012, in a lecture entitled Law, Liquor and Love. The lecture will be held at the Old Government Buildings in Wellington, on June the 8th, at 5:45pm.

The Sale and Supply of Liquor Act was introduced as a result of recommendations made in a report by the Law Commission in 2010. 126 of the 153 recommendations made in that report were implemented, however the evidence-based recommendations that experts championed as most effective in curbing the social cost and harm of alcohol were excluded by the government in the final version of the bill that was passed into law.

The Law Commission inquiry was led by the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer, and Lecretia Seales was a major contributor to the research and recommendations that made up the essence of that report. Sir Geoffrey Palmer delivered the inaugural Lecretia Seales Memorial Lecture in Law Reform in August last year.

Lecretia’s husband, Matt Vickers said: “Although Lecretia is most well known to New Zealanders for her advocacy on the issue of assisted dying, she was a very principled person who worked hard on projects on law reform in a number of areas, including the sale and supply of liquor. I am very pleased that this year Professor Sellman has agreed to discuss such an important issue, an issue that Lecretia worked so hard on during her lifetime.”

Professor Sellman has been working in the addiction treatment field since 1985. He has been Director of the National Addiction Centre, University of Otago, Christchurch, since its inception in 1996 and was promoted to Professor of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in 2006.

Lecretia Seales took a case to the High Court of New Zealand in May 2015, seeking a judgment that would protect her doctor from prosecution should she consent to be assisted to die. Ms Seales passed away a year ago, on 5 June 2016, on the same day the judgment in Seales v Attorney General was delivered. Though Ms Seales did not get the ruling she sought, her actions helped provoke a parliamentary inquiry into assisted dying which is currently underway. Ms Seales was named New Zealander of the Year 2015 by the New Zealand Herald.

For more information on the Lecretia Seales Memorial Lecture for Law Reform, please visit The lecture is open to the public and attendees can RSVP at Photos from last years event are available online.

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