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New Zealand Yearbook of International Law

University of Canterbury
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Conte, Alex --- "Preface" [2008] NZYbkIntLaw 1; (2008) 5 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law v


The Editorial Board is very pleased to release this, the fifth volume of the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law. In order to align the period covered with the Year of the volume this volume covers the period from 1 July 2006 to 31 December 2007. From the next volume, the period covered will be the year denominated on the cover!

The general articles touch on a range of topical issues including a former diplomat’s perceptions on whether globalisation is really eroding the state, potential defences to intellectual property violations in medical emergencies occasioned by ‘bird-flu’ and a note on the brand new China New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Our troubled age is reflected in a continued focus on the consequences of conflict with articles on defences to superior orders in Iraq, developing a principled position in respect of civilian detainees in military operations, and a note on New Zealand’s first abruptly truncated foray into international criminal justice since it participated in the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.

The following section, a ‘Year–in-Review’ of New Zealand state practice during the calendar year 2007 in selected areas of international law, has been introduced in order to strengthen the focus of the Yearbook on New Zealand’s role in contemporary international law. The topics selected include the environment; Antarctica; the law of the sea and fisheries; indigenous peoples rights; human rights; peace, security and nuclear non-proliferation; and international trade. Each of the commentators provides a short overview of, and brief comment on, relevant New Zealand state practice as well as, where appropriate, a discussion of developments within these areas of interest to New Zealand.

The Yearbook has continued with a dedicated section on the South Pacific made possible by our special advisors Tony Angelo who has written three short pieces on the Pacific Islands Forum, the realm of New Zealand which includes pacific islands and a note on constitutional developments in Pitcairn Islands. This section also contains the final statement of a recent conference held in Samoa on future strategies for the protection of human rights in the region. Material on Antarctica by our special advisor Trevor Hughes is in this volume found only in the NZ Year in Review as it relates to New Zealand. The other dedicated section, New Zealand State Conduct has been maintained, for which we again thank Mark Gobbi. As this is a bridging volume we have postponed the usual bibliography until the next volume. 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 Alberto Costi and Campbell McLaughlin (both of Victoria University Wellington). We thank our advisors for their contributions to the Yearbook.

We wish to express our sincere thanks to those academics, practitioners and government officials 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 copy editor, Anna Homan, whose rigour was praised by all.

Neil Boister Karen Scott

General Editor Associate Editor

June 2008

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