L AW R E F O R M
J une 2 0 1 9 · L AW TA L K 9 2 9
The voice of the profession – how we can influence positive change in the law BY TIANA EPATI
The Law Society is calling for applications to join our law reform committees (see page 15 in this edition of LawTalk and on the Law Society website). Applications from a diverse range of backgrounds are encouraged; the Law Society is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion and wants to ensure appointments reflect New Zealand’s multicultural society. The Law Society’s law reform work is central to representing the profession and speaking out in the public interest – on key issues such as access to justice, constitutional protections, the rule of law, operation of the justice system, and the
quality of legislation. This is important and fascinating work, and I know from personal experience that collectively we can make a real difference to the legislation and justice system we all work with every day. I had the privilege of serving on the Criminal Law Committee and saw first-hand the positive influence the Law Society committees can and do have. As President, I now sign off Law Society submissions on potential reforms across every area of law and legal practice, and I am impressed by the expertise, knowledge and commitment our committees collectively contribute for the betterment
of the profession and the New Zealand legal system. I encourage you all to support this work and to consider putting your name forward to serve.
Our commitment to improving the law BY LIESLE THERON
“Assisting and promoting” law reform is one of the Law Society’s key functions – “for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand” (Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, s65). The Law Society’s committees and in-house legal team work hard to produce thoughtful, considered submissions to parliamentary select committees, the Law Commission and government departments on a vast range of potential reforms. We aim to assist in shaping the best possible legislation and to ensure that law reform proposals respect fundamental principles. A great many lawyers give generously of
their time to serve on these committees, working to tight timeframes on difficult issues while still meeting the demands of their busy day jobs. This is a significant public service. It is also rewarding work. It’s an opportunity to contribute directly to improving our laws, to be involved at the cutting edge of legal developments and to work with like-minded members of the profession. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with a group of such committed and enthusiastic lawyers. Now others in the profession have a chance to participate – the call has gone out for applications to join the Law Reform Committee and specialist committees for the next two-year term. Information about
our law reform work, and how to apply, are provided in this edition of LawTalk and on the Law Society website, and I encourage you to consider applying.