11 August 2008

NZ Centre for Public Law symposium: "MMP and the Constitution: 15 years past; 15 years forward"

With the Nat's recent commitment to a binding referendum, there's been a few threads reflecting on its pros and cons, along with some of the pros and cons of some alternative electoral systems. For people who are interested in a systematic assessment of the MMP, the New Zealand Centre for Public Law, in conjunction with Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington and the Centre for New Zealand Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, is hosting a symposium on MMP and the Constitution on 26 and 27 August 2008 (simultaneously video-cast in London, with a number of international speakers):
MMP and the Constitution: 15 years past; 15 years forward New Zealand's political and constitutional system is notable for its adoption of the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting. This year marks 15 years since the public referendum adopting this form of proportional representation, with the country shortly facing its fifth general election under MMP.The shift to MMP has been described as "the greatest change to the New Zealand constitution" in recent years. The 15th anniversary of the referendum on MMP provides an opportunity to undertake a constitutional stock-take – to review the effect of MMP on the constitutional fabric of the country. The anniversary also provides the opportunity to look forward – to assess the likely constitutional challenges that MMP presents in the next 15 years.A similar voting system has been adopted in the National Assembly for Wales and Scottish Parliament, with continuing calls for a form of proportional representation also to be adopted for the British Parliament. The lessons learned – and challenges faced – by New Zealand with its system of proportional representation will therefore also be of particular interest to the United Kingdom audience. The symposium will be video-cast between London and Wellington, with speakers and panellists from both centres contributing to the evaluation of the effect of proportional representation on the Westminster form of government. Constitutional scholars, political experts, and parliamentarians will reflect on the effect on the parliamentary process, political parties, and the operation of the Executive in New Zealand, with United Kingdom and European experts providing comparative perspectives on proportional representation. Speakers will also explore the future political and constitutional challenges presented by MMP and proportional representation both in New Zealand and elsewhere.

> NZCPL: "MMP and the Constitution", brochure and registration form > NZCPL: "MMP and the Constitution", online registration New Zealand Centre for Public Law GBLT1 and GBLT2, Government Buildings 15 Lambton Quay Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington New Zealand 6:30pm-10:00pm, Tuesday 26 August 2008 7:00am-10:30am, Wednesday 27 August 2008 Centre for New Zealand Studies ST274 and ST275, Stewart House 32 Russell Square Birkbeck, University of London, London United Kingdom 7:30am-11:00am, Tuesday 26 August 2008 8:00pm-11:30pm, Tuesday 26 August 2008

1 comment:

Idiot/Savant said...

$250 for general registration? What, are you trying to keep the hoi polloi out or something?

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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