Podcasts and webinars

Webinar: Employee, Contractor or Business

This Webinar provides an opportunity to hear two of the United Kingdom’s leading labour law experts, Keith Ewing and John Hendy, discuss and innovative proposal to define who should be entitled to the rights and protections in statutory labour law labour law.

Traditionally this question has been answered by focusing on the legal form of the relationship between the person contractually obliged to provide their labour and the person benefiting from that labour - if the person is an employee they fall within the protected group, otherwise not. That approach has become increasingly problematical as employing entities increasingly seek to avoid or evade statutory obligations by creating even more arcane legal forms of employment, a trend that has accelerated with the advent of gig and platform employment.

An alternative approach is to focus not on artificial legal categorisations but on the practical question of who should be entitled to the benefits of the statutory rights and protections. The obvious answer is any persons who are contractually obliged to provide their personal labour for the benefit of another. The form of a real legal relationship should not dictate whether a worker is entitled to a minimum wage, proper conditions of work and the right to associate in trade unions.

This principle lies at the heart of proposed United Kingdom reforms developed by the Institute of Employment Rights and which have subsequently been adopted as Labour Party policy.

In this Webinar two of the leading architects of this proposal will discuss the nature of the United Kingdom proposal and its implications for future employment law. The Webinar is particularly timely given the work of the Tripartite Task force considering employees and contractors. Keith Ewing is a Professor of Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law at Kings College London and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading experts on labour law and human rights law. Along with John Hendy QC and Caroline Jones he was an editor of the Manifesto for Labour Law (2016) which has been central to the development of Labour Party policy in the United Kingdom.

John Hendy QC is perhaps England’s leading labour law barrister and has had a long and distinguished career both legally and politically. He is a Labour peer in the House of Lords and an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law at University College London.

The webinar will be jointly hosted by the Faculty of Law and the Centre for Labour Employment and Work at Te Herenga Waka -Victoria University of Wellington.

Indigenous peoples and COVID-19

In this series of webinars, Dr Carwyn Jones—in collaboration with the Māori Law Review and with support from the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law—focuses on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in the context of COVID-19 and state responses to the pandemic, particularly considering issues of law and justice.

Lex and Lore

We all know LEX is Latin for law, and LORE represents what’s interesting about the law—the gossip, the intrigue, the debates! In this podcast, you'll explore the development of the "new legal system" in New Zealand with Geoff McLay, Barrister, Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington and Editor of the New Zealand Law Reports, as he dissects cases and judgments with esteemed colleagues and legal experts.

LEX & LORE: Legal Lowdown on the Lockdown

The legal low-down on the lockdown

In this series of podcasts convened by Professor Geoff McLay, academics from Victoria University of Wellington discuss the legal implications of the government’s response to COVID-19 and ongoing developments.

Part 1

Presented by Marcin Betkier, Eddie Clark, Joel Colón-Ríos, Dean Knight, Nessa Lynch.

Subjects discussed

  • states of emergency and the constitution
  • the lockdown legal regime
  • the criminal justice system
  • privacy
  • keeping democracy amidst COVID-19.
Part 2

Presented by Eddie Clark, Dean Knight, Nessa Lynch, Geoff McLay.

Subjects discussed

  • the High Court decision on the legality of the lockdown—A v Ardern
  • the legal foundation of the lockdown and alert levels
  • enforcing the lockdown
  • Government accountability now and in the future.
Part 3

Presented by Eddie Clark, Dean Knight, Nessa Lynch, Geoff McLay.

Subjects discussed

  • the rules under alert level 3
  • disconnect between bubble rules and government messaging
  • police warnings and COVID-19 rule breaches
  • criminal courts and human rights
  • the Attorney-General, policymaking and COVID-19
  • were New Zealand citizens ever going to be banned from coming home?
  • the return to Parliament
Part 4

Presented by Claudia Geiringer, Eddie Clark, Dean Knight, Nessa Lynch, Yvette Tinsley.

Subjects discussed

  • A & B v Ardern habeas corpus appeal
  • Borrowdale v Director-General judicial review
  • compassionate exemption from quarantine refusal being overturned
  • what's been happening in parliament
  • police powers, accountability and criminal justice—the delay in criminal courts and bringing back jury trials
Part 5

Presented by Geoff McLay, Petra Butler, Eddie Clark, Dean Knight, Nessa Lynch.

Subjects discussed

  • lockdown legality and why it matters
  • new COVID-19 Public Health Measures Act (process, framework and enforcement)
  • new alert level 2 rules
Part 6

Presented by Geoff McLay, Nessa Lynch, Eddie Clark, Dean Knight.

Subjects discussed

  • criminal court protocols under alert level 2—balancing expediency with procedural rights
  • state surveillance, social licence and facial recognition technology
  • new alert level 2 words—will we ever really replace ‘bubbles’?
  • are church services allowed as “services” or banned as ‘gatherings’?
  • update on what didn’t happen in the Borrowdale case this week
  • happenings around Parliament—COVID-19 Public Health Response Act and the Epidemic Response Committee
  • document dumps and government openness
Part 7

Presented by Geoff McLay, Nessa Lynch, Eddie Clark, Dean Knight, Joel Colón-Ríos.

Subjects discussed

  • what’s been the most striking feature/thing for you during lockdown?
  • what’s been the most surprising feature/thing?
  • what’s the main lesson for the future?
COVID-19 and domestic law

Presented by Professor Gordon Anderson, Māmari Stephens, Dr Ruiping Ye, Victoria Stace.

Subjects discussed

  • Employment
  • Social Welfare
  • Residential tenancies and commercial leases
  • Insolvency
COVID-19 and international law—Part 1

Presented by Professor Geoff McLay, Professor Alberto Costi, Dr Michelle Zang, Professor Susy Frankel, Dr Bjørn-Oliver Magsig, Professor Joanna Mossop.

Subjects discussed

  • UN and WHO
  • Trade law
  • Intellectual property
  • Environmental law
  • Law of the sea
COVID-19 and international law—Part 2

Presented by Professor Petra Butler, Professor Alberto Costi, Professor Joanna Mossop, Dr Bjørn-Oliver Magsig.

Subjects discussed

  • US threat to stop funding the activities of, and withdraw from, the WHO
  • Call for an independent inquiry into the outbreak of COVID-19
  • Effects of border closures on the resettlement of UN refugees
  • COVID-19 vaccines in the face of international patent law and public health
  • When global demand for a vaccine spurs innovation patents should not stand in the way of equitable access, but they may do
  • COVID-19 and flags of convenience
  • The impact of COVID-19 on international negotiations for a new oceans treaty
  • COVID-19 and climate change
  • The need for ‘cooperative sovereignty’ to bridge the gap between (in)action and responsibility

International law workshop on COVID 19 and Beyond

This workshop was held on 24 November 2020 with participants from local and international academics.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of Auckland Law Faculty and the Victoria University of Wellington Law Faculty's Covid-19 Project.

Videos of each session can be viewed on a separate page.