Pasifika law and culture experts lift lid on hard issues

Academics, law practitioners, university and secondary school students will gather at Victoria University of Wellington next week to take part in the Pasifika Law and Culture Conference.

The annual conference ‘After Paris, After Winston – the PACIFIC’, has drawn big names for the three-day event, with keynote addresses by former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, new Children’s Commissioner and former Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft, Victoria Pacific scholar Dr Teresia Teaiwa and Victoria’s School of Law’s Professor Tony Angelo.

The conference includes Pasifika students’ presentations on topics such as climate change, women in law, and youth, mental health and constitutional issues. Law students from six universities, including a team from the University of the South Pacific, will go head to head in a mooting competition. The final will be held on Tuesday evening (5 July) with Judge Sir David Carruthers leading the judging panel.

Professor Angelo says the conference programme will address a lot of the “hard issues” facing Pacific Island nations.

“This conference is going to open the lid on those hard issues that are often put in the ‘too hard’ basket. Throughout the conference, we’ll see rigorous debate from a range of voices on issues such as domestic violence, customary ownership, the Paris Agreement, agri-business and women’s rights.

“The goal behind this conference is to increase the understanding of Pacific legal issues and to strengthen relationships between Pacific legal scholars and students.”

What: ‘After Paris, After Winston – the PACIFIC’ Pasifika Law and Cultural Conference

When: 4-6 July

Where: Victoria University Pipitea Campus, Government Building, 15 Lambton Quay, Wellington

The conference is open to media. Visit the conference webpage for further information.