Te Piringa (University of Waikato) lecturer, Steve Macbeth, will give a presentation as part of the New and Emerging Scholars Symposium at the University of Canterbury Law School on 7 August 2015.
His presentation is titled:
“The Application of the “Best Interests” Principle to Maori Children’s Collective Cultural Rights: A Conceptual Shift for the New Zealand Family Court?“
The introductory paragraph from his abstract reads:
“Indigenous Peoples assert their collective rights in a world where Western liberal theory and individual rights dominate. International human rights law, however, increasingly recognises Indigenous Peoples collective rights in addition to their members’ individual rights. In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which represents the most comprehensive acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples collective rights within international law. In 2009 the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child General Comment No. 11 “Indigenous children and their rights under the Convention”. The Comment references the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as providing important guidance on the rights of indigenous children. The Comment provides authoritative guidance to State Parties that the application of the “best interests” principle to indigenous children under the Convention requires the assessment of indigenous children’s collective cultural rights and their need to exercise such rights collectively with members of their group, in addition to the indigenous children’s individual rights. Only then can the best interests of indigenous children be determined.”
To read the full abstract click this link to download a pdf.
About the family law papers Steve teaches
Steve Macbeth joined Te Piringa – the Faculty of Law at Waikato University in 2014. He teaches two family law papers.
In the first semester his paper focuses on care and contact, guardianship and domestic violence issues, paternity, the Children Young Persons and their Families Act, and applications under the Hague Convention on Aspects of Child Abduction.
The other (in the second semester ) is dedicated to relationship property. It traverses the fundamentals of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and explores topical property issues within family law.
Both papers have a strong practical emphasis to assist students who wish to practice family law or who need to deal with relationship property issues in general practice.
Background in family law
Steve practised law in Rotorua and Whakatane for 18 years, nine of those as a barrister. He specialized in family law and has undertaken a significant amount of work as lawyer for the child and as a counsel to assist the Court. He has also accepted appointments under the Hague Convention on Aspects of Child Abduction from the Central authority and was a District Inspector under the Mental Health Act. Additionally he has also been a district representative for the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society.
Research on the collective rights of Maori children in the Family Court
Steve ceased legal practice in June 2013 and resumed his studies at Te Piringa (having been a foundation student of Te Piringa graduating with first class honours in 1995). He published an article in 2014 in the New Zealand Business Law Quarterly which was a direct result of the study he had undertaken. He is currently writing on the collective cultural rights of Maori children in the Family Court. He intends to undertake research concerning the recent reform of the Family Court.