September 03, 2020
Māori voices help shape legal evolution
The new tumuaki tāne of the Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa says the society provides invaluable support for Māori lawyers as their views and voices become and increasing part of the law in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Carwyn Jones of Ngāti Kahungunu will share the role with Jamie-Lee Tuuta of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri for the two year term.
He says the society was important in his development as a lawyer and academic, and it is also contributing to the way the law is being shaped.
An increase in the numbers of Māori lawyers in recent decades is now leading to more Māori being appointed as judges, including the elevation last year of Justice Sir Joe Williams to the Supreme Court.
"So we’re seeing some of our members and our voices in those different places which are really important to see people with a m perspective being able to speak to the law, being able to use the tools of the law in all those different spaces," Dr Jones says.
Along with fellow academics he is also looking at how legal education can change to reflect the fact all lawyers will need to engage with tikanga Māori and work in te ao Māori to some extent.
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