The Promise of Law: Essays marking the retirement of Dame Sian Elias as Chief Justice of New Zealand

A powerhouse of national and international contributors honour the 20-year-tenure of retired Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.

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ISBN/ISSN: 9781988546070

Product description

This book contains the published collection of the conference papers discussed by each panel of speakers.

Nine significant topics are covered:

  • Law and Power on the Frontier
  • Common Law Constitutionalism
  • Where to for Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation
  • Environmental Justice and Climate Change
  • Topics in Private Law
  • The Supervisory Jurisdiction and Administrative Justice<
  • Criminal Law
  • Human Rights
  • Judging


  • The only published collection of papers presented at the retirement conference for Dame Sian Elias.
  • Includes a broad range of topics and perspectives from leading practitioners and academics from New Zealand and abroad.
  • Compact and concise – perfect for your briefcase or bookshelf.

Related Titles

Stockley & Littlewood The New Zealand Supreme Court: The First Ten Years, 2015
Ekins Modern Challenges to the Rule of Law, 2011
Taylor Judicial Review A New Zealand Perspective, 4th edition, 2018

Featured authors

Table of contents

Law and Power on the Frontier

  • ‘Colonial land dispossession in comparative perspective’ – Stuart Banner

  • ‘Foundation’ – Ned Fletcher

  • ‘The elephant in the court room: An essay on the judiciary’s silence on the legitimacy of the New Zealand state’ – Claire Charters

Common Law Constitutionalism

  • ‘Common law constitutionalism under a codified constitution’ – Cheryl Saunders

  • ‘The principle of legality, sovereignty and the structure of the constitution’ – Janet McLean

Where to for Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation?

  • Transcript from Dr Moana Jackson

  • ‘The Treaty of Waitangi as a “contract”? A personal journey’ – Sir Ken Keith

Environmental Justice and Climate Change

  • ‘Climate change at the courts: The role of the judiciary in cases related to climate change’ – Christina Voigt

  • ‘Environmental justice: Thoughts on climate litigation in New Zealand’ – Davey Salmon

  • ‘The wheel turns full circle’ – Hon Tony Randerson QC

Topics in Private Law

  • ‘The place of unjust enrichment in New Zealand law’ – Hon Dame Susan Glazebrook

  • ‘The release fee as a remedy for breach of contract: The judgment of Elias J in cash handling in the light of Morris-Garner’ – Peter Watts QC

  • ‘Contract and tort: A joint venture of judges and parliament’ – John Burrows QC

The Supervisory Jurisdiction and Administrative Justice

  • ‘Thinking about administrative law in Canada: From doctrine to principle’ – Hon Justice Rosalie Abella

  • ‘New Zealand administrative law: Simplicity gained – or lost?’ Rodney Harrison QC

Criminal Law

  • ‘What to avoid: The American experience of sentencing’ – Judge Nancy Gertner

  • ‘Dame Sian Elias and criminal law’ – Kris Gledhill

Human Rights

  • ‘Contemporary challenges for human rights: A view from South Africa’ – Kate O’Regan

  • ‘Human rights without an enacted statement of rights’ – Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel


  • ‘Remarks in honour of Chief Justice Elias’ – Sir Anthony Mason

  • ‘The citation of foreign law’ – Jeremy Waldron

  • ‘Winkelmann J and panel discussion’