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Scholars: the critic and conscience of our society?

Scholars: the critic and conscience of our society?

8 December 2010

A conference about the role of those who act as the critics and conscience of society is being held in Wellington this week at Victoria University’s Law School.

It is the 27th Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand. The object of the Association is to promote and foster scholarship broadly focusing on the interactions and intersections between law and society.

The theme of ‘Critic and Conscience’ is inspired by New Zealand’s Education Act, which sets out the role of the university as being the critic and conscience of society.

Professor Michael Levy, a world expert on white collar crime from Cardiff University, will discuss responses to the global financial crisis.

Professor Kendall Thomas, the director of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Law and Culture, will address the conference on the topic of "Democracy and Disgust: Political Criticism and Critical Politics in the Age of Political Moralism".

Prominent Māori commentators Moana Jackson and Ani Mikaere will discuss the role of Māori leaders as critics and conscience of society. Sue Bradford, MP Rahui Katene, Sir Edmund Thomas, Professor Jane Kelsey and Dr Sundhya Pahuja will have a panel discussion on the conference theme.

The conference begins today with a powhiri on the University’s marae, and continues on Thursday and Friday.

Over the three days, papers will be presented on wide range of topics including citizenship, academic freedom, terrorism, labour law and the global financial crisis.

Participants are expected from all over New Zealand and Australia, as well as Europe and Canada. The conference is funded, in part, by a grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation.

Date: 8-10 December
Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Government Buildings
Address: 15 Lambton Quay (northern end)


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