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New Zealand Law Students Journal

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Woods, Seamus --- "Foreward" [2013] NZLawStuJl 1; (2013) 3 NZLSJ i

Last Updated: 29 May 2014




When I was first asked to contribute the foreword to this edition of the New Zealand Law Students’ Journal (NZLSJ), I confess to some hesitation. With esteemed predecessors like the Chief Justice, the Governor-General, the Solicitor-General and Sir Geoffrey Palmer, I felt markedly under-qualified for the job. But, as was pointed out to me by the Editor, the very purpose of this publication is to provide a student voice in the world of academic scholarship. As such, I am pleased to introduce this latest instalment of the NZLSJ.

The purpose of this Journal is to provide a dedicated platform for the publication of student work. The value in doing so is twofold. First, it is a means by which New Zealand’s law students can contribute to contemporary legal commentary. Not having been exposed to practice, students bring unique perspectives to legal issues. The NZLSJ, which is in the business of collating the thoughts of the country’s sharpest up-and-coming legal minds, ensures that these perspectives are heard. Undoubtedly, academic debate is enriched as a result. Secondly, the NZLSJ affords students a dedicated avenue through which to have their work published. Often, the students — many of whom are yet to graduate or are recent graduates — submit research and writing generated in the course of their studies. The submission of students’ Honours papers is not uncommon. Having a piece of academic writing published can be a satisfying reward for a job well done. It is also a valuable part of the educational experience that law students are at university to undertake.

The NZLSJ is now entering its eighth year (2014), having been established in 2006. It has already outlived its predecessor, the New Zealand Students’ Law Journal (note the crucial order of the words), which was started as a similar initiative of the New Zealand Law Students’ Association (NZLSA) in 2002. Unfortunately, it did not last the distance. So much more impressive, therefore, is the continued publication of this Journal. Congratulations to the Chief Editorial Board for their sustained commitment and hard work in producing another fine edition of the NZLSJ. Long may it continue.

Congratulations also to all of the students whose work is included in this edition. Without exception, the research and writing is of a very high standard. From my own recent memory, I know how long one can spend poring over every word and every footnote of an essay; it is clear that considerable care has been taken with each of the papers presented. Now the authors have the reward of knowing their meticulously crafted work will pass before the eyes of many interested readers.

The topics covered are also universally fascinating. Many of them have a health law focus. Emma Sherratt examines advance directives given by Alzheimer’s disease patients prior to their loss of capacity. Similarly, Philip Arnold engages in a thorough consideration of the interface between patient capacity — both to refuse treatment and where there is none — and the views of medical practitioners. Rebekah Mapson reviews the treatment of children under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, concluding that more could be done to tailor the regime to New Zealand’s youngest citizens. And Samantha Beattie weighs up the extent to which a right to informational privacy might be included in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. Outside of the operating

theatre, Natalie Jones investigates the fascinating new science of geoengineering (engineering the environment), which is growing in prominence in response to climate change. She asks what challenges this new science might pose for international law and policy. Finally, legal historians and economists will be interested to read Yoon Tae Nam’s contemporary appraisal of the United States’ Sherman Antitrust Act 1890.

The NZLSA is proud to be affiliated with the NZLSJ. Once again, congratulations to everyone involved in the production of this edition of the Journal, and good luck to all those involved in the future.

I commend this edition of the Journal to the reader.


Seamus Woods

NZLSA President 2013

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