Monday, December 11, 2017

Mark Henaghan – The Legal Luminaries Project

Friday, December 1, 2017 RETIREMENT

In mid-December, the old American platform is being retired and replaced with a new version.
Lexis Global has been in circulation in American for a few years now, so is well established.

However, as per the old version, all the non-USA content is tucked away - this time, behind the "International" Tab. Once you're there, drill down to your required jurisdiction or content type, and you'll be away laughing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Hi everyone,
Look after yourselves and each other.
Take breaks!
Eat well,
and use Emergency Kittens to keep you smiling - or Marcelo's favourite : Animals Being Jerks

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New: Lexis Advance

Exciting news, we now have access to the new LexisNexis platform, called Lexis Advance.
One exciting feature is that when you log into it (using your Otago username and password), you will be able to create and share folders and alerts, and customise many features.
If you need help, come and see me, or take a look at these instructional materials

The old (legacy) platform will be phased out at the end of the year.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Display - the Ngata-Stout Commission

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the first known Māori to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor of New Zealand: Sir Āpirana Turupa Ngata (Ngati Porou).  Born in 1874 in the East Coast, knighted in 1927, he was once described as “a polished gentleman and a clever young lawyer… and one of the finest members of the Māori race living”.1 Such was his desire to serve his community, he went into politics. One of his early achievements was in assisting Sir James Carroll (Ngati Kahungunu) in writing the Maori Lands Administration Act 1900 and the Maori Councils Act 1900. He was elected into Parliament as a member of the Young Maori Party in 1905, and his great interest in Māori land reform was realised when he was appointed to the Native Land Commission in 1907. Ngata’s eloquence and knowledge was further recognised by Sir John Salmond judge of the the Supreme Court.  Together they consolidated all then Māori land legislation into the one Native Land Act 1909.
Throughout his life, Sir Āpirana Ngata achieved much for Māori and New Zealand, and was deeply interested in music, education, physical activities and land development. Many of these passions were actualised in statute during his tenure as Minister of Native Affairs from 1928-1934. One of his lasting legacies is the still most prestigious annual award for Māori agriculture: the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

Nearly 40 years before Sir Āpirana Ngata’s study of the law, a Scotsman, Mr Robert Stout became the first student – then lecturer - in Law, from 1871–1876 at the University of Otago. He was knighted in 1886. The University of Otago Robert Stout Law Library is named after him.  Like Ngata, he was an ardent land reformer, and was keen to avoid the “same social problems as the Old World, with a powerful landlord class and the mass of the population landless.”3  Stout oscillated between academia, politics, private practice and the judiciary for the rest of the century, as the Attorney General in 1878, two short bouts of Premiership in the late 19th century, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1899 to 1926, and Chancellor of the University of New Zealand from 1903 to 1923. During his tenure as Chief Justice he was appointed as a Native Land commissioner in 1907.
Stout and Ngata formally came together in 1907 to lead the Stout-Ngata Native Land Commission.  They worked from 1907 to 1908, held sittings in 48 centres in the North Island, and wrote 42 reports to the Governor General. The main recommendation was that Maori Land boards be given exclusive power to administer the alienation of Native Lands, and the Native Lands Act 1909 was substantially based on the findings of this Commission. The reports also emphasised the importance of encouraging Māori to settle their own lands, and that the education of Māori should focus on agriculture, with model farms and government funded instruction on farm management.4

1.“The Welcome to the Duke” Auckland Star (13 June 1901) at 2
2.“Whangara B5” <>
4.WH Dunn and ILM Richardson, Sir Robert Stout: a Biography, (Reed, Wellington, 1961) p174).

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Revised Edition of Parliamentary Practice in NZ

A revised edition of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand has been published this week.
The publisher’s media release is copied below, and here is the news article on Parliament’s website:

Clerk of the House of Representatives David Wilson (centre) and former Clerks Mary Harris and David McGee launch the fourth edition of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand.
Source: Office of the Clerk

The guide to how New Zealand’s Parliament works is now updated.

Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand, David McGee’s monumental guide to the practice and procedure of the New Zealand House of Representatives, was last revised 12 years ago.

This new, fourth edition brings the work up to date, thanks to extensive revision by a team led by former Clerk of the House of Representatives Mary Harris and current Clerk, David Wilson, 

“I’m delighted to oversee the publication of this new edition, which reflects the knowledge and hard work of a large number of people,” commented Wilson. 

“Capturing changes in how Parliament works is vital because it helps the different people who interact with Parliament, allows us to provide the best advice possible, and points the way to how the institution will innovate and evolve in the future.”

In particular, the new edition reflects changes brought by the Parliamentary Privilege Act 2014, changes in committee conduct, and the use of extended sittings. 

Weighing in at 1.4 kg, the 896-page book features attractive design and enhanced indexing and references — and for the first time comes with a digital counterpart. The ebook version facilitates quick browsing and searching, and offers the ability to incorporate amendments at more regular intervals.

The authors:
David McGee was Clerk of the House of Representatives from 1985 to 2007.  Mary Harris occupied that position from 2007 to 2015, and David Wilson is the current Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The epistemology of legal research

Today at the student reps meeting, a discussion arose about learning about research and writing.
I think this blog post will be very helpful and interesting. I will let it speak for itself!
It's called "Can Legal Research Be Taught?"

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New HeinOnline instructional modules

HeinOnline is an enormous database of legal materials, including over 2200 law journals. Use it to find articles, discover who cited them, and what they cited. HeinOnline also gathers historical primary sources from the UK and USA, including bilateral and multilateral treaties.
To find out more, and to find out how to get the best out of HeinOnline, a suite of training videos has been made by Quimbee, and are available on the HeinOnline YouTube Channel.
Links to these video and other training materials are also on HeinOnline, and the Law Subject Guide, Research Strategies page.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Learning in the 'Post-Truth' Era

The Oxford English Dictionary chose 'post-truth' as the word of the year in 2016 .

The other phrase to hit our ear-drums, social media pages, and the TV is Fake News. We are drowning in it. Google it, and you are spoiled for choice! Snopes is running a select archive.

To combat all of this, and help us learn how to make up our own minds is a fantastic new syllabus from two scientists from University of Washington, Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West

You can read their interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The Fine Art of Sniffing Out Crappy Science

January 16, 2017 

And take a look at their syllabus, course outline, and case studies here.