Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas holidays are almost here, so this is the last post for the year.
Things to look forward to in the New Year are:
  • revamped subject guide - cosmetic changes mostly
  • WestlawNZ - and the phasing out of the Brookers platform
  • more 'how to' guides and mindmaps to help your immediate research needs
Plus a few surprises planned for later, much later in 2014.

Happy holidays.
See you next year .
Best wishes, the Law Librarian.

Monday, December 9, 2013

HelpMePublish mobile app launched

HelpMePublish is a 'crowdsourced' database listing over 5300 academic jouranls in 13 subject areas, and was created by the University of Otago.
The database displays live data as it is contributed to by journal editors (including acceptance rates and refereeing policies) and academic via the app's built in journal rating programme.

They've built it but if HelpMePublish is to be a valuable resource for the research community they need you to contribute your experience as a publishing researcher.

For more information about the HelpMePublish project go to helpmepublish.org.

To download the HMP app go to our App Store page.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How the Richardson Building got its name

Everyday, on your way up to the Law Library, you pass under the sign: Richardson Building (I pushed for the name "Thompson Towers", but Peter from Property Services wasn't convinced!).
Many people might know that Richardson was an early Chancellor of the University, but his contributions to Otago, and to the whole country were far more remarkable.
He is commemorated in the Foyer of his namesake, and I urge you to take a closer look.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogging in the Supreme court sees a new wave of 'citizen journalism'

According to the Guardian, (22 October 2013),  the State of Victoria's Supreme Court is moving with the times.
Court reporting has been around for 100's of years (see the Law Library's set of 'Nominate Reports'), and now they're going to employ a retired judge to blog it.

In a recent speech, "Open  justice in a technological age", Victorian Chief Justice, Marilyn Warren said the court’s new interactive website would become a hub for the court’s communication with the public, who would be able to comment on the website, watch video on demand, debate in online forums, and download judgments and summaries.
She said employing a retired judge to blog the courts represented a “historic shift away from traditional judicial reluctance to explain or defend judicial decisions that are made in accordance with the rule of law”.
Warren added that other experts, including academics and journalists, would also be invited to blog for the court.

Can you imagine that happening here?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ten most bizarre prison sentences

For all you procrastinating LAWS201 students out there, take a look at Oddees' 10 most bizarre prison sentences.
And if that amuses you, try the 12 most ridiculous lawsuits.
Good luck on Tuesday

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Good Luck for Exams!

Good luck for exams

Good luck for exams

Good luck for exams

Good luck for exams

Good luck for exams

Friday, October 11, 2013

You're dead, Judge tells man

As it's been a while since my last post, and no doubt you're all in 'exam mode' and desperate for some procrastination, so here is some Friday frivolity, from Stuff.

An Ohio judge says a man who stood before him in court is still legally dead.
Donald Miller Jr was declared dead in 1994, eight years after he disappeared from his home in the northwest Ohio town of Arcadia.
Miller resurfaced about eight years ago and went to court this week to have the ruling changed.
His former wife opposed the move. She said she didn't have the money to repay the Social Security benefits that were paid out to her and their two children after Miller was declared dead.
The Courier newspaper in Findlay reports that she claims Miller vanished in the 1980s to skip out on child support payments.
A Hancock County judge who denied Miller's request for a reversal of the death ruling called it a "strange, strange situation".
The three-year time limit on the death ruling was clear, Davis said.
"I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned," Davis said.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Mental Wellness Guidebook for NZ Law Students

The New Zealand Law Students Association have written and compiled this booklet with assistance from an experienced mental health professional.

Seamus Woods, NZLSA President 2013, writes:
This Guidebook responds to the rising tide of mental wellness difficulties being perceived among New Zealand’s law students. These difficulties include not only clinical mental health issues such as depression but also things like stress and anxiety. This Guidebook aims to bring the importance of mental wellness to law students’ attention, and to equip them with information and tips to cope with their studies....
I commend this Guidebook to any university student, whether or not they struggle with stress or mental difficulties, whether or not they think they ever would, and indeed whether or not they even study law. Always look after yourself, look after your mates, and never be afraid to ask for help.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vulnerable Children Bill 150-1 (2013) introduced 3rd September.

The Explanatory Note reads:
This Bill is an omnibus Bill that is introduced under Standing Order 260(a) (dealing with an interrelated topic regarded as implementing a single broad policy). It will result in 2 new principal Acts: the Vulnerable Children Act and the Child Harm Prevention Orders Act. It also amends the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (the CYPF Act) and the KiwiSaver Act 2006 (the KiwiSaver Act).
The Bill forms part of a series of measures to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children (children who are at significant risk of harm to their well-being now and into the future as a consequence of the environment in which they are being raised and, in some cases, due to their own complex needs). These reforms were proposed in the White Paper for Vulnerable Children (the White Paper) and the Children’s Action Plan released in October 2012. The changes will also support the Government’s Better Public Services programme in the key result area of reducing the number of assaults on children.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Online Help for online tools

The legal database vendors CCH (Intelliconnect), Thomson Reuters (WestlawNZ) and LexisNexisNZ are making instructional videos. Lots of videos. You can quickly link to them via our Law Subject Guide Strategies tab. They're short, and specific. They usually show you the fastest way to find things, but certainly not all the ways to find things. The suites of videos are being constantly updated too.
Here's a wee taster.
Basic Search : CCH
How to locate a case by name: LexisNexisNZ
Find legislation by browsing: WestlawNZ

Of course, if you prefer to get help from humans, just ask at the desk, or email me. My contact details are on the Law Subject Guide.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bar admission ceremony court attire clarified

The Chief High Court Judge, Justice Winkelmann, has written to the New Zealand Law Society to clarify the requirements for the required standard of dress for ceremonies for admission as a barrister and solicitor.
Justice Winkelmann says concern has been raised with her regarding variable practice between registries as to the required standard of dress at admission ceremonies.
"It has been reported to me that some admittees are being told they must wear traditional court attire at admission ceremonies," she says.
"I have reminded registries that the general approach in connection with court attire for admission ceremonies is that candidates for admission and their counsel moving have the option of wearing traditional court attire (wigs, bands, white shirt and gowns) or gowns over neat clothing. Neat clothing means dark suit, white shirt and tie for men and equivalent dress for women (women to ensure their shirt or blouse is white)."
Justice Winkelmann says applicants and counsel moving the admission may not combine the two options by, for example, wearing a wig and a tie, or bands over a tie.
"Applicants are requested to remind their counsel moving of these requirements," she says.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Advocacy Club

Last week, when I was ordering a book for the Law Library, called "The Art of the Interview: How Lawyers Talk with Clients" by John Hollander, I visited the authors' website, and found this: The Advocacy Club. 
It turns out the author keeps a very thorough blog to help law students improve their skills in writing, interviewing, cross-examining, mediating, and much much more. 
John has been practicing since the mid 1970s, and founded the Advocacy Club in 2009. 

If you ever find yourself in Ottawa, you might want to take a look at the courses he runs too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A conversation with Mark Henaghan

Presenting Professor Mark Henaghan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Otago, in conversation with Professor Nicola Peart. Mark speaks about his journey from University of Otago student to academic to the Faculty of Law’s longest serving Dean. He discusses family law, judicial appointments, leadership and ‘The Human Genome Project’.

I listened to this yesterday, and it was charming and insightful. I think you will enjoy it too.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Changes to Printing

"There is nothing permanent except change" Heraclitus 540-480BCE.
Uniprint have completely changed their printing system. You'll notice some things are the same but different.
The main impact of the change is the way you add funds to your ID card.

"It can't happen here" Frank Zappa 1966.
The only way to add funds to your card is to go to the UniPrintShop in the Central Library. Soon, you'll also be able to use the autoloaders (no, there are none in the Richardson Building), and we have heard rumours of another method.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

LexisNexisNZ Knowledge Network launched

The Lexis Nexis NZ Knowledge Network is the go-to place for all their training and support. Look under the "legal tab".
You can sign up for webinars, read their handouts, or watch videos.
There's a LOT of stuff here.... .
If you need a refresher lesson on specific processes, eg, how to find a statute, you may find the suite of little short videos very useful indeed.
Still stuck? JUST ASK!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Busy Beavers Visualise Videos

While students and staff are heads-down sitting or marking exams, Carolyn and I have been busy making videos.
We hope to eventually create a suite of short videos to help you navigate through the maze of legal research, and share some of our hard-earned tips and tricks along the way.
For your immediate viewing pleasure, we have a Virtual Tour, and How to Find NZ Statutes in the Law Library, and How to Find Cases on a Statute. The latter 2 are on the Law Subject Guide Strategies page, along with a few other 'goodies' to aid your legal research.
The world of videos is a new foray for us, so every kind of feedback is very welcome!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Dean says, It's the Law of the Jungle!

Mark Henaghan spoke to the NZ Herald last Friday, about the governments' latest family law reforms, sating
"The law of the jungle means the more powerful party will dominate," he said.
"We are abandoning people to their own devices, which ends up in more fights, more arguments, and that has consequences for the children."
Read more here

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Zealand Law Society Guide for New Lawyers

"One thing you will find as you start work as a lawyer is that it’s very different to studying law and you’re going to have to learn quite a few new things. Law school and profs teach you how to think like a lawyer; when you enter the workforce, you’ve got to learn how to act like a lawyer." Jonathan Temm, President, New Zealand Law Society November 2012.

This Guide includes some excellent tips on sucessfully surviving those first few years after Law School. It covers topics such as: finding a job and tips for interviews;  work practices and delegation of work; court etiquette and what to wear in court and tribunals.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Seven types of ambiguity

A few years back we occasionally displayed and reviewed fiction with a law theme. Fiction is awesome and the mid-year break is coming, so I'm recycling those reviews. Seven types of ambiguity was the first book we featured, chosen because it was written by a barrister, Elliot Perlman. And because it’s about crime, imprisonment and trial. It’s also about psychiatry, families, health care, insider trading, ethics, so it just about covers the law school curriculum except for Treaty of Waitangi (understandable in an Aussie book), Law and Religion (may be the eighth type of ambiguity), and International Law.
It’s also about gambling, prostitution, literary criticism, love. And it's a great big book.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Statuary instruments

We recently discovered some statuary instruments on the shelves in the Law Library, tiny but exquisitely formed. Here is the cellist and, somewhat blurry, the violin player. We also have a weight-lifter, a serpent head and a pair of hands.
We're expecting to see a whole lot more instruments in the Law Library, now that the Parliamentary Counsel Office is re-branding regulations as legislative instruments. They probably won't be as charming as these!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First statutes revision for 105 years planned

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) says it will propose the first of a new three-yearly programme of statute law revision to the Attorney-General and relevant government agencies "in time for the next Parliament".
In its Statement of Intent for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018, the PCO says the Legislation Act 2012 - some of which is still to come into effect - requires the PCO to improve access to old, archaically expressed, and much amended laws through the establishment of a three-yearly programme of statute revision.
The last - and only - comprehensive revision of New Zealand's statute book took place in 1908.
The PCO says the draft revision programme will set out the proposed revision projects and those Bills expected to be enacted during that three-year period.
"The amount of revision undertaken will depend on the availability of funding to the PCO and administering departments," it says.
In other information provided in the Statement of Intent, the PCO says it intends to phase out the Statutory Regulations series and replace it by a Legislative Instruments series.
"This change will reflect terminological changes introduced by the [Legislation Act 2012], expecially the introduction of the terms 'disallowable instrument' and 'legislative instrument' in place of the current term 'regulations'," it says.
The PCO also says it is planning to make the New Zealand Legislation website an official source of legislation by 1 July 2014.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How's your research and writing going?

Here are some pointers:
Ask for help at the Law Library desk ("office hours" only).
Use the Law Subject Guide as a portal for legal research.
Contact Kate or Carolyn for indepth assistance. We can help with search strategies, literature reviews, Endnote, database searching, primary sources, and more!
Good luck!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Valedictory Speech: Gilmore MP

If you're looking for an interesting and potentially amusing distraction this afternoon, One News will be live streaming Aaron Gilmore's valedictory speech from Parliament.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Have your say in the Constitution Conversation

Sumbissions can now be made by the public, regarding the Constiutional Review.
It's quite important. Have your say.
The Constitution Conversation Submission Process

 If you need some help getting a handle on the issues, there are LOADS of websites engaging in this debate, from both sides of the argument (take time to hear both sides, critically evaluate them).  And remember the podcasts on Radio NZ, which were very interesting.

Right, I'm off to make my submission. Cheers

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Faculty of Law Podcasts

The Faculty of Law have hosted some interesting visitors over recent years, and now you can listen to or watch  them in the comfort of your own flat / chair in the library / playing field / bus -  you name it.  Many of the seminars are recorded in video and/or audio, and include F.W. Guest Memorial Lectures, Inaugural Professorial Lectures, and Symposia. A recent visitor was Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, speaking on "The Impact of Human Rights on Domestic Courts".
For other great lectures, head to the Faculty of Law Podcasts.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Constitutional Review

Hey all you Public Law-ians!
Have you heard the latest opinions on the Constitional Review? 

Radio NZ National are running  "a five-part series examining aspects of the New Zealand Constitutional Review being carried out by the Government." with moderator, Stephen Price.
You can catch the podcasts of the first 2 here.
Episode 1 had  Professor Claudia Geiringer; Professor Bruce Harris, Dr Carwyn Jones, Dame Claudia Orange, and Dr Matthew Palmer explore the background issues
Episode 2 , Dr Carwyn Jones, Dr Maria Bargh, Colin James, Professor Elizabeth McLeay and Sir Geoffrey Palmer consider the reform of our democratic institutions.

The next two are
Maori Aspirations for Constitutional Change, featuring Tai Ahu, Dr Rawinia Higgins, Veronica Tawhai, and Valmaine Toki; and Human Rights in the Constitution, featuring Sir Jim Bolger, Professor Janet McLean and Michael Mabbit

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Standing up to the Clerks

 Some humour for a grey Tuesday!

Standing up to the Clerks
"Who is in charge at a Barrister's Chambers? The barristers or the clerks? Certainly, when I was a pupil, and later a junior barrister – the answer was "the clerks". It certainly wasn't me. On one memorable occasion, presented with a complex brief in an area of law I knew nothing about, for a miserable brief fee – I stood my ground and said – "no more of this please". After two weeks of little or no work I had learned my lesson, and knuckled down to do what I was told without further complaint." By Alex Williams.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How Students Should Follow Up With Employers

How Students Should Follow Up With Employers

College seniors who have sent out resumes and interviewed with hiring managers might be ready to sit back and hope for a job offer, but their application process is far from complete.
In the current competitive job market, following up after the interview has evolved beyond a common courtesy and into a necessary step....
Read more

Monday, April 15, 2013

Who Owns the Law

Check out this fantastic video from the ReInvent Law Channel. Who Owns the Law, by Ed Walters.
You can see many other videos from the ReInvent Law Conference, including "Why we need self driving cars now" and "The future of Law is not evenly distrubuted"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

UK Supreme Court judgments on youtube

You can now view oral summaries of UK Supreme Court judgments on youtube. Youtube also gives you the medium neutral citation, so you can go to BAILII's Supreme court decisions to find the whole judgment if you want it, or the summary, which (at least for the few I've looked at) seems to be pretty close to the oral judgment itself.
Presumably you could work the other way as well: find a case on BAILII and then, based on its hearing date, find the oral summary on youtube.
Or you could sit back, look and listen.

Monday, March 25, 2013


To everyone who attended the Student Professional Development event last Monday, congratulations! You took part in very sucessful event (if I may say so myself!).I was very impressed with the number of attendees.
We hope you got something positive out of it.
In a couple of weeks I'll send out a survey, so you can tell us what you really thought, and can be instrumental in shaping another event, should the signs point to go!
If you're bursting with feedback, please come and see me.....cheers

Friday, March 1, 2013

LAWS 498 library exercise

A few tips for those of you doing the library exercise.
  • Just about everything you need to know is in the Little Red Book. You'll have to look for it, but it's there.
  • Print culture takes time. The links are there, but sometimes they need legs. For example, if you want to track the history of an act, start with the original; if it's not the current version, there will be a reference to the next reprint; if that's not the current version, there will be a reference to the next reprint (and the next, and the next) until you get to the latest reprint, which will either be current, or tell you what repealed it. Another example: there aren't always consolidated indexes, so you may need to repeat the same search over numerous volumes - start with the earliest possible date and work forward.
  • Just about everything you need to know is in the Little Red Book.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Law Student Professional Development Seminar

We can confirm that this event is on 18th March.
 The morning session comprises of several short talks by experts in the legal community, including database trainers, a recent graduate,  a senior partner from a local firm, and law librarians.
After a catered light lunch, you can choose which database sessions you wish to attend - the more the merrier!
Further details available here:  Faculty of Law News & Events RSVP required by 14 March.
We're really looking forward to see you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thesis writing

ITS run really useful courses on using Word for theses and dissertations.
Get in early and book your time now.
Short movies of the course content are available online: ITS thesis movies.
You'll find more information about dissertations and theses in the Thesis information libguide.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Watch this space!

Dear Students
The Law Library, and Faculty of Law have developed a professional development event just for you, scheduled for mid March this year. Its focus is on legal research skills and expectations in the work place. We have some great speakers lined up, along with representatives from the 3 major legal database companies.
Stayed tuned for information as it comes to hand.

Monday, January 14, 2013

international human rights research

Here's a really nice guide to getting started with human rights research, from the Library of the European Parliament.
I have added it to the International law section of the Law Subject Guide, too.
Cheers, Carolyn