The 2008 Maurice Byers Address will be delivered by the Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias on 24 April 2008 in the Bar Association Common Room.
**About the lecturer
**She graduated from Auckland University with an LLB honours degree in 1970 and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar the same year. She studied at Stanford University, from which she graduated in 1972 with a masterâs degree in law.ï¿½ Following her return to New Zealand, Dame Sian worked first as a solicitor and then as a barrister in Auckland.ï¿½ In 1984-1989 she was a member of the Law Commission working particularly on the reform of company law.
In 1988, Dame Sian was appointed a queenâs counsel.ï¿½ She appeared in a number of significant cases, including cases concerning the Treaty of Waitangi. She was awarded a Commemorative Medal in 1990 in recognition of services to the legal profession.
In 1995, Dame Sian was appointed judge of the High Court in Auckland.ï¿½On 17 May 1999, she was appointedï¿½as the 12th chief justice of New Zealand, the first woman to be appointed to that office.ï¿½She was made a dame grand companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.ï¿½In 2001 she sat on the Privy Council, the first woman to do so.
When in 2003 the Supreme Court Act established a final Court of Appeal in New Zealand, the chief justice became the head of the new Supreme Court.ï¿½That court began sitting in July 2004.
About the Sirï¿½Maurice Byers Address
In early 2000, Bar Council resolved to establish an annual address in honour of Sir Maurice Byers. In recognition of Sir Maurice's principal areas of work, it was decided to make the focus one of constitutional or public law. More information about the Maurice Byers Address>
24 October 2007