Close up of lion and unicorn insignia atop the Old Government Buildings in Wellington

Comparative public law

The Centre takes a broad approach to comparative public law, engaging with issues beyond comparative constitutional law.

It is not possible now—if it ever was—to understand a system of public law in isolation. Accordingly, the Centre’s research, publications, projects, and events often extend beyond the study of public law in New Zealand.

We examine issues arising in other countries' legal systems. This includes systems that are relatively familiar to New Zealand public lawyers, such as those in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. But it also includes systems in other countries in the Pacific, as well as in Asia, South America, and continental Europe.

Our approach to comparative public law is as broad as our view of public law. We therefore explore beyond core issues in comparative constitutional law.

The Centre is scheduled to host a future annual meeting of ICON-S, the International Society of Public Law.

Our research, publications, and projects examine many different aspects of comparative public law.

Explore our publications and projects.

Recent activity

2023 Government Law: Year in Review

Thursday 23 February 2023

Keynote: Sir Geoffrey Palmer—“Law, politics, policy and elections. Lot going on in public law. Making sense of it”

Representing Parliament: the role of parliamentary lawyers in identifying, interpreting and defending the interests of the legislature

On 18 August 2022, Ben Yong (Durham Law School) gave a seminar explore the role of parliamentary lawyers in defending the interests of the legislature as an institution.

New Zealand Lives in Public Law

In this episode, the NZCPL Director Professor Joel Colón-Ríos talked to Emeritus Professor Tony Angelo about his early life and education, his experience in the teaching of comparative law, his work in small island states in the Pacific and beyond, and his views on NZ constitutional future.

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The Samoan Constitutional Crisis: An Analysis

On 23 July a panel consisting of Dr Iati Iati, Fuimaono Dylan Asafo and Dr Anna Powles examined different aspects of the Samoan Constitutional Crisis of 2021, including the role of the judiciary, the place on the Rule of Law, and the crisis’ implications outside of Samoa.

Event page

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The Law, Policy & Ethics of Vaccine Passports

On 1 July 2021, the Centre hosted Professor Colleen Flood who spoke on the law, policy and ethics of vaccine passports.

Event page

Global video series

In this collaborative project, legal scholars from 50 countries shared their perspectives on government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government Law Year in Review

Brexit, Prorogation, and Popcorn: Implication of Miller (No 2) for New Zealand

Presenter: Dr Dean Knight, Victoria University of Wellington

25 February 2020

Find out more about this presentation and download a PDF on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Update from the United Kingdom

Dr Joelle Grogan of Middlesex University gave a video presentation in which she discussed recent developments related to Brexit.

Update from the United States

Prof Mark Graber of the University of Maryland gave a video presentation as part of the  2020 Government Law Year in Review half-day seminar.

Update from Hong Kong

Dr Stuart Hargreaves of the Chinese University of Hong Kong gave a presentation via video as part of the 2020 Government Law Year in Review half-day seminar.

Update from Canada

Prof Carissima Mathen of the University of Ottawa gave a video presentation as part of the 2020 Government Law Year in Review half-day seminar.