Emergency powers for pandemics and other threats

Start date
09 April 2021
(04) 473 3453
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Project Overview

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission commissioned Professor Janet McLean KC to write a Study Paper concerning Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal and institutional framework for pandemics and other threats. Building on the Commission’s Final Report on Emergencies (NZLC R22, 1991) the paper undertakes a preliminary evaluation of how well Aotearoa New Zealand’s laws and legal institutions anticipated the challenges presented by COVID-19, and identifies any questions that ought to be considered to ensure readiness for future emergencies. Like its predecessor, it underlines the importance of standards and democratic safeguards.

Professor McLean is a professor of law at the University of Auckland with extensive expertise in constitutional and administrative law. She was appointed a QC in 2019 under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of her extraordinary and longstanding contributions to the law. She also has a longstanding connection with the Commission, having worked here as an adviser in the 1980s during the tenure of the inaugural President, Sir Owen Woodhouse.

The Study Paper was published in November 2022.