News Item

April 2010

Lady Hale to deliver Ethel Benjamin address

Lady Hale of Richmond, justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, will deliver this year’s New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address.

This 14th annual address in the series will be given at the Dunedin Art Gallery at midday on 7 May and will be open to the public as well as to the profession.

Lady Hale is not only the first woman to be appointed to the House of Lords (and now to the Supreme Court), but she is also the first Supreme Court Justice in many years to have a family law background.

She oversaw important reforms to the area of family law during her time with the UK Law Commission, including the Children Act 1989, no-fault divorces and the right of unmarried victims of family violence to remain in their homes.

While an academic, she co-authored an influential 1984 book, Women and the Law. She was also the founding editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

Two other important happenings will also take place in association with the address, which is hosted by the Otago Women Lawyers Society (OWLS).

The winner, or winners, of the NZ Law Foundation’s annual Ethel Benjamin Scholarship will be announced.

And the Shona Reeve Memorial Prize in Advanced Property Law, established by the University of Otago Law Faculty, will be launched.

Shona Reeve was a much-loved member of OWLS who made a significant contribution to the practice of family law in Dunedin and provided much support to the Faculty.

Lawyers wishing to attend this year’s NZ Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address need to notify OWLS by Friday 23 April. RSVP to OWLS, PO Box 5632, Dunedin or by email