Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law Alumni Message

Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law's message to alumni, August 2021.

Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law
Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law

Kia ora koutou katoa,

The Faculty of Law has had to remain vigilant and resilient, as the challenges of COVID-19 continue to be ever-present in New Zealand with an Alert Level change in July in Wellington and, more recently, the sudden move to alert level 4 this month. However, we continue to successfully support one another and support our students to continue their studies as we look towards the end of Trimester 2.

This year has continued along the trajectory of significant achievements and celebrations. Professor Yvette Tinsley gave her inaugural lecture where she examined the harm caused by the adversarial criminal process in its attempt to be objective about deeply personal aspects of people’s life stories. And the Faculty of Law marked 25 years of calling Old Government Buildings home where 130 invited guests attended, the Governor-General joined and gave a speech alongside the Chancellor of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, myself and four other guest speakers, including alumni, such as Kerensa Johnston, as well as Victoria University of Wellington Law Students’ Society (VUWLSS) President Meghan Grant, and Ngā Rangahautira tumuaki wahine Rhianna Morar.

Some of our academics have had their ambitious research acknowledged at an international level. Associate Professor Nessa Lynch was invited to address an online conference marking the 20th anniversary of the enactment of Ireland’s Children Act 2001. Her address discussed the influence of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 on the development of the Irish legislation. And Associate Professor Dean Knight gave evidence to Canada’s House of Commons committee on Health, as part of its inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic, where he discussed the legal and democratic aspects of New Zealand’s response, especially how that contributed to stamping out the virus and bolstered legitimacy of our government’s action.

I am also proud to acknowledge the on-going achievements some of our students have had. Susannah Harper and Islay Aitchison won the 2021 Norris Ward McKinnon Family Law Moot hosted in Waikato over 24-25 July. Susannah was awarded the title of best speaker of the competition.

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the year.


Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law