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The Institute of Law, Emergencies and Disasters (LEAD) brings together a cluster of multi-disciplinary researchers based at Kaupeka Ture l Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury, working on all aspects of law, governance and disasters.

Disasters are social phenomena, caused by society’s inability to cope with hazards. These hazards come in many forms, both natural and man-made.  What makes a disaster is not the event itself but the impact that it causes. At the heart of society’s ability to respond, prepare for and recover from disasters, is law.

For this reason, the LEAD Institute brings together a group of experts from a wide range of disciplines who work on the impact of hazards on aspects of law and systems of governance. Researchers within the group engage in a broad range of research examining both the impact of law on disasters and the legal mechanisms designed to respond to hazards. This research cuts across the traditional disciplines of legal study, engaging with both international and domestic legal frameworks (in New Zealand and overseas).

The group has connections with a global network of disaster law experts and has strong links both internationally and domestically with academics from various related disciplines. The group also engages with a range of stakeholders in local and central government as well as NGOs, businesses, the legal profession and the wider community.

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