Nurturing Tradition in Dunedin: Courthouses, Lawyers, and Justice
Otago Law Review, 2018
28 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2018
Using the reopening of the Dunedin Law Courts as a case study, this article considers the role of courthouses in the life of the city, the legal profession, and in Aotearoa New Zealand's twenty first century justice system. It uses an examination of primary historical sources and a close reading of the speeches given at the ceremonial sitting to trace the history of the enthusiasm for saving the building and explores the meaning of the building to the legal and wider community. This is timely as we look to possible online futures where physical courthouses spaces might have a much reduced role. The final part of the article considers the ceremonies and the courthouse in light of the relationship between Māori and Pākehā, and the changing nature of justice policy with its emphasis on efficiency and accessibility.
Keywords: courts, justice, lawyers, legal history, courthouses
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