Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

The Canterbury School of Law has a distinguished tradition of research in criminal law. The School pioneered the teaching and scholarship of criminal justice in New Zealand. The current members of the Criminal Law & Criminal Justice Group work across the fields of Transnational Criminal Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law, the Law of Evidence, Transnational Organised Crime, Financial Crime, Cybercrime, Trial Process, Criminal Procedure and Sentencing.

Professor Elisabeth McDonald

Adjunct Professor
Meremere 413
Internal Phone: 94550

Prof Robin Palmer

Director of Clinical Legal Studies
Meremere 325

APrf Debra Wilson

Associate Professor
Meremere 316

Dr Mark Wright

Meremere 315
Internal Phone: 90092
  • ‘The criminal justice responses to the Christchurch Shooting’ – Professor Neil Boister and Dr James Mehigan
  • ‘Building Resilience in Criminal Justice: Lessons from COVID-19’ – Led by Associate Professor Debra Wilson
  • ‘Trial process in cases of intimate partner sexual violence’ – funded by the Borrin Foundation and led by Professor Elisabeth McDonald
  • ‘Comparing jury trials with judge alone trials’ – funded by the Law Foundation and led by Professor Elisabeth McDonald
  • ‘Corruption and Money Laundering in the Pacific’ – Led by Dr Chat Nguyen
  • ‘Cultural Genocide: Contingency, International Criminal Law and Indigenous Rights’ – Led by Dr Shea Esterling
  • ‘Culture in Conflict and Conflicts: Exploring the Protection of Cultural Heritage through The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi’ – Led by Dr Shea Esterling (Read more about the project here.)
  • Professor Neil Boister led the project ‘Transnational Security: Regional Integration in the Suppression of Transnational Crime’, partly funded by the Jean Monet EUCN Networks grant (2018 – 2020), with participants from the University of the South Pacific, the University of Vienna, the University of Queensland, the University of Wollongong, and the University of New South Wales. In 2014 he was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany for his work on transnational criminal law. In 2015 he was awarded the New Zealand Law Foundation’s International Fellowship to undertake a research project on the simplification of the law of extradition. His book on The Law of Extradition in New Zealand will be published by Thomson Reuters in 2020. He is currently editing Histories of Transnational Criminal law (for OUP – to be published in 2021), based on a colloquium held in Hannover in October 2019 and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. As an expert consultant in 2019, he recently drafted the ‘Elements of Crimes’ and accompanying explanatory report for ten transnational crimes in the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples Rights, African Court Research Initiative, funded by the Open Society Foundation.
  • Professor Elisabeth McDonald was awarded a Marsden grant for the research of ‘Rape myths as barriers to fair trial process’, resulting in a 2020 book of the same name.
  • Professor Robin Palmer was the project leader of the multi-university NZLF-funded project of Forensic Brainwave Analysis (FBA) (2018-2019), in cooperation with the US and local (Police and Corrections) partners.
  • Dr Chat Nguyen was the principal investigator in the project: Diffusion of the Budapest Convention on cybercrime and the development of cybercrime legislation in Pacific Island Countries’