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New Zealand Yearbook of International Law

University of Canterbury
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Boister, Neil; Scott, Karen --- "Preface" [2007] NZYbkIntLaw 1; (2007) 4 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law v


The Editorial Board is very pleased to release this, the fourth volume of the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, for the Yearbook period of 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

A particular focus is given to international criminal law in this volume by the inclusion at the outset of a selection of papers from a conference on ‘Regionalising International Criminal Law’ held at the University of Canterbury in August 2006. It opens with the keynote address given by Professor William Schabas of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, and is followed by various papers opposed to or supportive of the notion of regionalising international criminal law.

The 2007 Yearbook then returns to its familiar format. The general articles touch on a range of topical issues including public participation and transparency in international investment arbitration, non-international armed conflict and human rights, and potential amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Some, however, such as the rights of indigenous peoples and nuclear disarmament, resonate particularly strongly in New Zealand, and others, such as the executive treaty-making prerogative, are about New Zealand’s law.

The Yearbook has continued with a dedicated section on the South Pacific made possible by our special advisors Tony Angelo and Bob Hughes. We have, however, included special contributions on climate change and small island states, and regional environmental organisations under the Pacific Plan. The other dedicated sections, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and New Zealand State Conduct, are maintained. In the latter regard we must thank our Special Advisor Mark Gobbi, who in this volume contributes two pieces. University of Canterbury Law Librarian Karen Willyams has compiled a bibliography of books and articles on international law relevant to New Zealand. Dr Chris Gallavin, a member of our Editorial Board, has arranged the book reviews in this volume.

We welcome to the Advisory Panel of the Yearbook Richard Burchill (University of Hull), Peter Davies (University of Nottingham), Joanna Mossop (Victoria University Wellington), Michael Hahn (University of Waikato) and Stefan Talmon (University of Oxford). We thank our advisors for their contributions to the Yearbook.

This is the first volume of the Yearbook where we have been in charge of the Editorial process. It is only proper to acknowledge Alex Conte’s efforts as Foundation Editor in getting the Yearbook off the ground. Without his enthusiasm and enormous energy this publication would not be a reality; we wish him well in the United Kingdom.

We wish to express our sincere thanks to those academics and practitioners throughout New Zealand that have supported the establishment and continued development of this publication. The Yearbook exists to serve the interests of the community with an interest in international law, both in New Zealand, and globally.

Thanks must also be given to the School of Law at the University of Canterbury, which has continued to provide administrative support to the publication. A special mention must be made of our student editor, Anna Homan, whose rigour was praised by all.

It would be remiss to fail to congratulate Sir Kenneth Keith in late 2005 on his appointment as judge at the International Court of Justice. The key figure in the New Zealand international law community and a keen advocate of international law, his appointment is thoroughly deserved, and we look forward with interest to his contributions to the ICJ’s jurisprudence as he begins his nine year term at The Hague.

Finally, it is with sadness that we record the sudden death earlier this year of one of our advisors, Professor Bob Hughes, who was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Law at the University of the South Pacific. Bob had been a strong supporter of the Yearbook in his commentary on events in the South Pacific, but his true memorial will be his enduring work at USP’s Law School and the contributions he made to legal education in the Pacific region. This volume is dedicated to the memory of Bob Hughes.

Neil Boister Karen Scott

General Editor Associate Editor

June 2007

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