Rekindling the Fire: Renewed Recognition of Māori Law in the New Zealand Courts
Part of the ANU College of Law Visitors Seminar Series series
ANU College of Law is delighted to virtually welcome Dr Carwyn Jones, a Māori scholar from the iwi (people), Ngāti Kahungunu and currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.
As part of a pattern of increasing engagement with Māori law, the New Zealand courts have recently grappled with the recognition of authority in relation to land, sourced in Māori law and legal concepts. These recent cases indicate that the courts are engaging with Māori legal concepts not simply as recognised customary practices or as aspects of property rights but as sources of law and authority that can, amongst other things, provide legal limits on the exercise of public functions and decision-making. While these are exciting developments, they have raised questions about the ability of the courts to effectively recognise and apply Māori law as well as questions about how courts should appropriately engage experts in Māori law within the state legal system. This seminar will consider the significance of these recent developments and discuss some of the tricky issues the courts are consequently encountering.
Dr Carwyn Jones »
Dr Carwyn Jones is a Māori scholar from the iwi (people), Ngāti Kahungunu. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. In October 2021 he will take up the role of Programme Director of the Māori Laws and Philosophy programme at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, a Māori tertiary institution based in Ōtaki, north of Wellington. Carwyn has worked in various roles at the Māori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal, and Office of Treaty Settlements. He also served as a negotiator for his own community in the settlement of their historical claims against the Crown. Carwyn’s primary research interests relate to the Treaty of Waitangi and Indigenous legal traditions, and he has published numerous articles on these topics. He is the author of New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law (UBC Press and VUP, 2016) and co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi (Routledge, 2018). He is also Co-Editor of the Māori Law Review, and of AlterNative – an international journal of Indigenous peoples, and he is a managing editor of Legalities: The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Law and Society.