News Item

August 2010

Law Foundation brings leading UK Academic to NZ to discuss miscarriages of justice

A former Chairman of the world’s first independent body established to review miscarriages of justice will deliver public lectures at New Zealand law schools in August.

Professor Graham Zellick will be the New Zealand Law Foundation’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow for 2010. He is the current President of the Tax Valuation Tribunal for England, and was for five years the second Chairman of England’s Criminal Cases Review Commission (covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

New Zealand Law Foundation Director Lynda Hagen says Professor Zellick will talk about the investigation of possible miscarriages of justice and the quashing of wrongful convictions. England was the first jurisdiction in the world to establish formal independent machinery to investigate and review alleged miscarriages of justice.

Professor Zellick will also speak on the creation of a unified coherent tribunal system. England, like many common law jurisdictions, has for many years had tribunals working alongside the court system, but now these separate bodies are being brought together into a single two-tier system to parallel the ordinary courts. The new system and its advantages will be explored and explained.

“There is regular debate publicly and within the legal profession about better ways of handling alleged miscarriages of justice and keen interest in the workings or our tribunals,” Ms Hagen said. “I expect Dr Zellick’s expertise in these topical subjects will attract considerable interest.”

While visiting our universities Professor Zellick will deliver lectures and take part in seminars. He will also give public addresses in the main centres on the following dates:

  • Victoria University of Wellington, 16 August at 5.30pm
  • University of Otago, 18 August at 5.30pm
  • University of Canterbury, 23 August at 5.30pm
  • University of Waikato, 25 August at 5.30pm
  • University of Auckland, 26 August at 6pm

Since 1998 the New Zealand Law Foundation has been bringing a distinguished visiting scholar to New Zealand and New Zealand’s law schools have an opportunity in turn to select and host the distinguished visitor. This year’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow is being hosted by the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington.

Professor Zellick’s background is extensive and includes holding the positions of Electoral Commissioner, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and Principal of Queen Mary and Westfield College at the University of London. He has also been a magistrate, a member of the Data Protection Tribunal, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Aid and the Criminal Justice Council.

In 2009 Professor Zellick was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the administration of justice and a Queen’s Counsel in 2010.