Elisabeth McDonald

Adjunct ProfessorProfessor Elisabeth McDonald

Meremere 413
Internal Phone: 94550
Elisabeth applies feminist critique to criminal law and the rules of evidence and procedure


Research Interests

Elisabeth McDonald MNZM has established teaching and research interests in legal issues related to criminal law, criminal justice, the law of evidence, gender and sexuality. She has particular expertise with regard to the evidential and procedural rules relating to the prosecution of sexual offences. She was awarded a Marsden grant for the research project “Rape myths as barriers to fair trial process”, resulting in a 2020 book of the same name, and is currently working on research funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation and the Borrin Foundation. She was part of the Law Foundation funded research project which culminated in the publication of From “Real Rape” to Real Justice (VUP, Wellington, 2011), a work providing important background to the Law Commission project on alternative trial processes in sexual cases (2015).
Elisabeth is also widely published in the area of evidence, and has been a regular consultant to the Law Commission in this area, as well as many others. Elisabeth has been co-Convenor of the Women’s Consultative Committee of the New Zealand Law Society, a Board member of the Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand, a committee member of the Wellington Women Lawyers Association and organiser of the 1993 Suffrage Centennial Women in the Law Conference. She was a co-Convenor and co-editor of the Law Foundation funded Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa (Hart, 2017) and a member of the NZLS Working Group on Harassment (2018). In June 2018 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Law and Education. Elisabeth was also a member of the Minister of Justice appointed Establishment Advisory Group for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (2020) and has a long-standing research relationship with the Institute of Judicial Studies.

Recent Publications

  • McDonald E. (2020) Adams on Criminal Law - Evidence. Thompson Reuters. 72.
  • McDonald E. (2020) Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Practice: Comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press. 560. http://dx.doi.org/10.18124/1xqx-hy30.
  • Cuncannon F., Khouri N., McDonald E., Oliver-Hood J., Optican S., Pike W. and Whittington N. (2018) Mahoney on Evidence: Act and Analysis. Thomson Reuters. 1020.
  • McDonald E; Powell RL; Stephens M; Hunter R (Ed.) (2017) Feminist Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand: Te Rino - A Two-Stranded Rope. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 549.
  • McDonald E. (2019) Using deductive reasoning to teach the law of evidence. In Gans J; Daly Y; Schwikkara PJ (Ed.), Teaching Evidence Law: Contemporary Trends and Innovations: 15.Routledge.