Disciplining Legal Practitioners in New Zealand
New Zealand’s new regulatory system for lawyers has been operating since 2008. This article evaluates this system – it has several positive features, but there are also items of concern. These include delays in resolving complaints, especially at the Legal Complaints Review Officer level. Whether there is sufficient publicity on the workings of the disciplinary system, its outcomes, and the naming of disciplined lawyers, is also considered. There is a particular focus on the lack of searchable full-text Standards Committee decisions, and the requirement that the approval of the Board of the New Zealand Law Society be obtained before publishing the identity of a censured lawyer. The final focus is on people’s willingess to make reports and complaints to the Law Society about lawyers suspected of wrongdoing. It has come to light recently that, at least in the sensitive areas of harassment and bullying, there is a reluctance to complain. People with knowledge of likely wrong-doing by lawyers must be willing to complain if a complaints-driven process like New Zealand’s is to function effectively.
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Rights Statement: This version in OUR Archive is the author's manuscript accepted for publication after peer-review. The published version is: Mize, S. E. (2021). Disciplining legal practitioners in New Zealand. International Journal of the Legal Profession, 28(2), 159-180. doi:10.1080/09695958.2020.1815540
Research Type: Journal Article
- Law Collection 
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