News Item

November 2011

Foundation's Most Prestigious Awards Announced

Studies on banking, unrepresented litigants and oceans governance will be funded by New Zealand Law Foundation scholarships announced at the annual awards dinner on 17th November.

The Foundation’s 2011 International Research Fellowship, New Zealand’s premier legal research award, was won by Auckland University senior lecturer Christopher Hare.

His research will be published in a book, entitled Banks in the Conflict of Laws, and will cover legal issues arising from international banking operations. It will deal with three broad areas: the intersection between international banking regulation and the conflict of laws; conflict of laws problems around the bank-customer relationship; and legal problems around bank payment systems and recovery of mistaken payments.

The book will shed light on issues that often come to court but have received little academic treatment. Banks are often involved in significant litigation where conflict of laws issues are raised – the book will fill a gap in detailed analysis of how conflict of law principles operate on bank payment instruments and the banker-customer relationship.

His study is especially timely given efforts to produce a coordinated response to the global financial meltdown, which has highlighted the inter-connectedness of domestic banking systems.

A graduate of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, Christopher’s specialty teaching and research areas include banking law and international sales and finance, company and insolvency law, conflict of laws, and law of obligations.

Inaugural Award of Doctoral Scholarship

The first-ever award of the Foundation’s Doctoral Scholarship (in Law) was also made. There were two winners of the inaugural awards.

Bridgette Toy-Cronin

Bridgette Toy-Cronin will study unrepresented litigants in New Zealand Civil Courts at the University of Otago, and Aline Jäckel will research issues around an ecologically sustainable legal regime of marine biological diversity at Auckland University.

Bridgette Toy-Cronin’s study will examine characteristics of unrepresented civil litigants – how many there are, who they are and why they are not represented – as well as changes that could help them to be accommodated better.

A Harvard law graduate, Bridgette has worked in legal practice in New Zealand and Australia, as well as providing legal advice to a women’s rights team in Cambodia and to the Government prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda.

Aline Jaekel

Aline Jäckel’s study aims to help create a comprehensive legal protection for shared marine resources, drawing on New Zealand sustainable management examples. Her study would propose alternatives to structural aspects of the international legal system.

A graduate of Leiden University in the Netherlands, Aline will complete her doctorate in international environmental law at Auckland.

The New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Award supports research either in New Zealand or overseas that aims to make a significant contribution to New Zealand law. The annual award is worth $125,000.

The New Zealand Law Foundation Doctoral Scholarship (in Law) aims to encourage postgraduate study and legal research for the benefit of New Zealand’s legal system. It is valued at $35,000 a year for up to three years.