17 January 2007

23rd Australian Law and Society conference: "Right or Racket? The protection of law"

Below is a link to a paper I presented at the Australasian Law and Society Conference in Wollongong late last year. > "D R Knight, "State Of The (Civil) Union: Gay And Lesbian Protections In New Zealand After The Civil Union Reforms" It is an expanded and revised version of my paper for the LAGANZ conference. As usual, comments and feedback welcomed! The conference also saw the formalisation of the Australasian Law and Society association: > The Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc

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Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"


This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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