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Preview: Matthew S. R. Palmer

The Hon Justice Matthew Palmer

Recent works by The Hon Justice Matthew Palmer

Last Build Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2018 All rights reserved.

Palmer J Swearing In Speech 27 October 2015.pdf

Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000

This is my speech at the ceremony on 27 October 2015 when I was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand.

The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand's Law and Constitution in 2015

Tue, 03 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000

This lecture addresses issues concerning the place of the Treaty of Waitangi, including: implications of the Waitangi Tribunal's conclusions on sovereignty; the rationale behind historical Treaty settlements; and the future role of the Waitangi Tribunal.

The Status and Effect in New Zealand Law of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000

This paper outlines the ways in which the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is reflected in, and affects, New Zealand domestic law.

The Importance of Free and Frank Advice from the Public Service

Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000

There has been a systematic diminution in the quality of policy advice in the New Zealand executive government between about 1998 and 2008. That has been associated with a diminution in the willingness of public servants to provide free and frank advice. Leadership at senior political and bureaucratic levels is required to address this as well as cultural change throughout the policy capacity of the New Zealand public service.

Assessing the Strength of the Rule of Law in New Zealand

Fri, 30 Aug 2013 00:00:00 +0000

The rule of law is fundamental to New Zealand’s legal system but its content is inadequately understood and observed. This paper calls for the rule of law in New Zealand to be clarified, strengthened and applied. The article offers an essentialised conception of the rule of law that might cross ideological divides and assesses recent Acts of Parliament against that conception. Finally, the article comments on the place of the rule of law in New Zealand’s constitutional culture and calls for its strengthening by establishment of an independent means of assessing draft legislation for consistency with the rule of law.

What Place does the Treaty have in New Zealand's constitutional arrangements?

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000

In this address Matthew Palmer makes suggestions about how the Treaty of Waitangi should be reflected in New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

Evidence to the House of Lords' Short Inquiry into Executive/Judiciary Relations

Tue, 01 May 2007 00:00:00 +0000

On Wednesday 9 May 2007 I gave evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee on the nature of constitutional dialogue between branches of government and on New Zealand's experience with the organisation of the Ministry of Justice.

What is Distinctive about Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism Law?

Mon, 01 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000

Criminal offending and terrorist offending are similar in quality – the acts which constitute such offending are similar, and should be subject to similar levels of protection of civil and political rights. This is how a democracy should respond to domestic terror threats. To the extent that we are particularly concerned about the motivation of terrorists in challenging the very maintenance of public order by a state, we should reflect that concern in the penalties we impose on such proven offending, not in giving in to the temptation of lower burdens of proof of the existence of the offending or the identity of the offender.
Our horror at terrorism since 9/11 – and the ongoing international and academic activity concerned with analysing and combating terrorism is occasioned by a deeper change. Crime, terrorism and war are now all on the same continuum of conflict. They are at different points, to be sure, but they are qualitatively related. The implications for their suppression and prevention are huge. Technological changes have changed the efficient scale of the nation state. We are slowly but surely leaving the Westphalian era of national sovereignty and entering the era of global government – federated initially perhaps, but eventually global in scale, scope and resources. We can expect, at some point in the future, national police and military forces to be integrated or federated into a global coercive force that reinforces the authority of our recently established International Criminal Court.
For a video of the conference session see

Thinking about Law and Policy: Lessons for Lawyers

Fri, 01 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000

The paper outlines a simplified view of the paradigmatic approaches of the disciplines of law to legal issues and policy analysis to policy issues. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of the inherent biases likely to emanate from each approach when applied to matters of policy advice within Government. It suggests that, when approaching policy issues, those with legal training should be aware of the need to: identify the government’s objective; identifying all relevant policy options; and the need to undertake a broad analysis of all relevant considerations.

Collective Cabinet Decision-Making in New Zealand

Thu, 01 Sep 1994 00:00:00 +0000

This chapter outlines the theory and reality of Cabinet Government in New Zealand at the time (under the First by the Post electoral system).