Summer Research Scholarships 2022/2023

Please find below a list of the Summer Research Scholarship projects that are available in the Faculty of Law over the 2022/2023 summer. Before applying please read the Victoria Summer Scholars Scheme conditions to ensure that you are eligible to apply.

Students will be selected on the basis of academic merit, expertise in the research area, and recommendations from staff associated with the project.

Each scholarship will have a value of $8,000, paid in four instalments.

The scholar is expected to contribute a minimum of 400 hours to the project between November/December 2022 and March 2023.

To apply for any of the following projects please apply online, noting the corresponding scholarship code.

Applications for the 2022/2023 Summer Research Scholarships will be open from 6th – 20th September 2022 (closing 4.30pm).

Contact Allison Kay ( for further details on the projects, or if you have any queries about the Summer Research Scholarship scheme.

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Access to banking - Essential for life?

Scholarship code 800

We are looking for a student to assist with a project that investigates the law and issues around access to banking facilities. Certain sections of society are denied access to banking, making participation in everyday life very difficult. This social justice project involves working with Victoria Stace in the Law Faculty and FinCap, an organization that gives a voice to the financial mentors around New Zealand that work with persons in unmanageable debt situations. The researcher would be required to talk to financial mentors, research the legal situation in New Zealand that is relevant to this issue, do a comparative analysis that looks at the law in other jurisdictions that has addressed these issues and write a comprehensive report that proposes possible reforms to address any inequities or vulnerabilities that currently arise.

Supervisor: Victoria Stace

Statelessness and Aotearoa New Zealand: A Mapping

Scholarship code 801

This scholarship will support a second stage of research work on a mapping of the treatment of statelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand. Basing themselves on a compilation of decisions dealing with statelessness from New Zealand’s immigration and refugee status determination bodies, including the Courts that has already been undertaken, the summer scholar will identify and compile relevant scholarship, statistics, political/institutional documents and statements, and media in order to develop an annotated list/bibliography of material related to the points of law arising from the identified case law, but also in terms of international law and diplomacy, namely, New Zealand's position over the years and currently related to the 1954 Statelessness Convention, to which New Zealand has been urged to accede but has not yet done so.

The broader project involves multi-disciplinary work in conjunction with a VUW colleague in the School of Political Science and International Relations.

The scholar should be a senior law student. Applications from students who have taken LAWS339 Migration and Refugee Law, INTP363 Human Rights or INTP365 The Politics of Forced Migration, who are undertaking the Masters of Forced Migration, or who otherwise have knowledge of citizenship, immigration and/or refugee law are particularly welcomed.

Supervisor: Marnie Lloydd

Principles of Corporate Law Theory

Scholarship code 802

Corporate Law - some background literature research is needed to cover the entity (concession and real entity theories) and contractarian (alternatively looking at shareholder wealth maximization - the nexus of contracts theory - and stakeholders ‘rights) theories of the corporation

Supervisor: Matteo Solinas

Stakeholder Capitalism: Balancing Shareholder Economic Interests Against the Impact of the Corporation on Society

Scholarship code 803

Do companies only exist to increase their 'bottom line' and maximise the wealth of shareholders? Or, as an increasing number of commentators and large businesses have been suggesting recently, should companies ensure their business achieves socially beneficially purposes, and does not harm the other people and environments that their business relies on and affects? If thinking about and researching these big questions sounds fascinating to you - and you have experience and a strong academic record in researching law, economics/finance/accounting, political or social theory, or any other relevant discipline, this summer scholarship may be for you.

Supervisor: Mark Bennett

Second Edition of Public International Law Textbook

Scholarship code 804

This is a unique opportunity for a student who is passionate about international law and interested in the role New Zealand play regionally and globally, to learn about the academic publication process. Research will involve looking into official documents, web and archive material, and reviewing the legal literature. There will be opportunities to liaise with other experts in international law from around the country.

Supervisor: Alberto Costi

Greening Human Rights in Aotearoa

(Funded by the Environmental Law Initiative Trust)

Scholarship code 805

This project will examine how we could 'green' the right to life in the NZ Bill of Rights Act (BORA) - this refers to using regular human rights law to address environmental degradation that affects the enjoyment of human rights. The Summer Scholar will research, collate and examine the different ways it has been used overseas. They will also identify trends and findings in BORA jurisprudence relevant to developing such uses here. The Summer Scholar will then produce a report on the findings of their research.

It will ideally suit an upper-year or graduate Law student, as the tasks require demonstrate competence in how to argue the applicability of legal arguments and case law, including evaluating arguments from other jurisdictions and assessing their suitability for use here. Familiarity with a non-English European language could be helpful but is not essential.

Supervisor: Cathy Iorns

Robert Stout and the Creation of New Zealand Law

Scholarship code 806

The law of Aotearoa New Zealand is being remade. As almost never before, lawyers, judges and legislators are concerned about creating a law uniquely for this place. But we have little understanding of how previous generations thought about what was New Zealand law, or indeed if such a thing existed. Sir Robert Stout was for five decades (1875- 1930) a leading legislator, lawyer and judge at the forefront of making or finding law in New Zealand. This project seeks to understand how Stout and his generation thought about law at the time much of the New Zealand state was built. Our major job is to create a framework through which we can understand what they did and what they thought they were doing. This will require traditional research, but it will also require digging into various archives, a passion for history, and curiosity about the law of our Islands and the people that made them. There will be the chance I hope for you to do some writing of your own

Supervisor: Geoff McLay

Remote Participation in Justice Proceedings

Scholarship code 807

The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the need for technological advances in justice proceedings. Remote participation remains a controversial issue. This project will ultimately provide an evidence base for judicial and governmental decisions about the type and extent of remote participation suitable in terms of both defendant and victim participation. This will include insight into issues of procedural fairness in relation to remote participation, and an examination of the extent to which barriers to participation (eg neurodiversity, communication disorders) are exacerbated by remote participation. Using a mixture of qualitative empirical methods, the project will include examination of the rights and interests at stake (including fair trial rights); impact on vulnerable groups; areas where remote participation may be useful; and an inter-disciplinary approach to provide a long-term view on needs, risks and opportunities of remote participation in justice proceedings.

Supervisor: Yvette Tinsley

Parliamentary Supervision of Secondary Legislation

(Co-funded by the Parliamentary Counsel Office / Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives)

Scholarship code 808

This project looks at the work of the Regulations Review Committee and key developments in its governing framework and jurisprudence since 2020.Parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation by the Committee is a key element in ensuring executive government is conducted in a legitimate, democratically accountable manner.

A key part of this project is capturing recent developments, both changes to governing legislative context and emerging jurisprudence, in order to update the leading legal guide dedicated to such scrutiny: the Regulations Review Committee Digest. The Digest collects and synthesises the Regulations Review Committee's jurisprudence, providing scholars, officials, and the public with an understanding of the standards set over years by the Committee.

The Summer Scholar for this project will work with Dr Knight and Dr Clark (in consultation with the Clerk's Office and the Parliamentary Counsel Office) to identify the main developments since 2020 (including collecting and organising key documents); draft initial updates to the Digest; and prepare a short draft paper summarising those developments (including, for example, the new regime for secondary legislation under the Legislation Act and Secondary Legislation Act).The Summer Scholar should have a strong background in public law, be able to work methodologically and independently, and be a strong and vivid writer.

Supervisors: Dean Knight and Eddie Clark