February 22, 2024

Sorbonne Conference: Cultural Expertise in New Zealand

Cultural Expertise Presentation by Mai Chen

In this insightful EURO-EXPERT video, Mai Chen explores the increasing need for cultural experts in New Zealand courts. The unique demographic landscape of New Zealand, marked by a substantial Maori population and increasing super diversity, underscores the necessity for legal professionals to seek assistance from cultural experts.

Mai references two pivotal cases, Ellis and Dingan Zing, to illustrate the escalating demand for cultural experts in New Zealand. The majority acceptance in the Supreme Court that Maori customs and practices (Tikanga) constitute the first law of New Zealand is highlighted, emphasizing the need for cultural expertise to assist lawyers and judges. Mai Chen discusses the challenges and nuances of incorporating Tikanga into the legal framework, emphasizing its relevance to ensuring equal access to justice. The presentation concludes by stressing the crucial role of cultural experts in adapting the common law to new circumstances and maintaining constitutional legitimacy in an era of expanding Indigenous and diverse populations.

Follow the link above to view.