Ian Borrin Lecture

The Borrin Lecture is delivered in honour of Judge Ian Borrin, an alumnus and major supporter of the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review.

Judge Borrin was born in Wellington on 13 February 1935. He attended Wellington College and Victoria University of Wellington where he gained an LLB in 1958. He practised law until 1983 when he was appointed to the District Court. He served as head of the Police Complaints Authority from 2001 until he retired in 2007.

In 2010, with the Faculty of Law, he established a Visiting Fellowship in Law at the University. It aims to enable scholars, academics and members of the judiciary to visit the Law School, engage with the public through presentations and seminars, and enhance research by interacting with staff and postgraduate students.

Before his death in 2016 he established the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation to support legal research, scholarship, writing and education in New Zealand.

A room at the Law School, the Ian Borrin Reading Room, is named in his honour.

Ian Borrin Lecture 2023

Professor Aileen Kavanagh

Delivered in 2023 by the Faculty's Ian Borrin Visiting Fellow; Professor Aileen Kavanagh of Trinity College, Dublin, Professor Kavanagh examined New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the context of comparative constitutional law.

Through critical examination of both countries, focusing particularly on the role of declarations of incompatibility within them, Professor Kavanagh showed that declarations, though apparently weak, are surprisingly strong judicial tools for protecting and promoting rights in a constitutional democracy.

Watch Professor Kavanagh's "Deconstructing Declarations"

Past Borrin lectures have been given by:

  • 2019 - Professor Martti Koskenniemi: "History of the Law of Nations: Sovereignty and Property"
  • 2018 - Martha C Nussbaum: "Anger, Powerlessness, and the Politics of Blame"
  • 2017 - Professor Neil S Siegel: "The US Constitution, Constitutional Conventions and President Trump"
  • 2016 - Professor Dawn Oliver: "Constitutional Guardianship: The Roles of Public or State Sector Bodies"
  • 2015 - Professor Peter Mirfield: "The Right to Confrontation in Three Common Law Jurisdictions"
  • 2014 - Professor Kent Roach: "Remedies for Laws that Violate Human Rights: Breaking Down the Diochotomy of Strong and Weak Form Judicial Review"
  • 2013 - Sir Paul Walker: "Rights, Wrong and Proportionality"
  • 2011 - Lord Collins of Mapesbury: "With all due respect to the Judiciary?"