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The International Association of Women Judges Biennial Conference

We are delighted that New Zealand has been chosen to host the biennial conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). The conference had to be postponed because of Covid-19 but will now be held from 7-9 May 2021: in person for those who can travel to New Zealand and virtually for all others.

The biennial conferences of the IAWJ form an extremely important part of the IAWJ’s mission.  Delegates come together to share their experiences and ideas for best practice in areas such as promoting human rights and combating domestic violence, discrimination and gender bias, both within the judiciary and the world at large. This opportunity to share best practice is particularly important for judges from developing countries.

All members of the IAWJ, including male judges and associate members, are welcome to attend IAWJ biennial conferences. The last three biennial conferences were held in Arusha, Tanzania, Washington DC and Buenos Aires and attracted up to 1000 registrants.

The Auckland conference starts with a pōwhiri and is then followed by two and a half days of sessions on a variety of topics.  The overall theme for the conference is “Celebrating Diversity”.

The sessions will have judicial speakers from around the world, providing an opportunity to experience a true global perspective.  We are also very keen to highlight innovations and experiences of the Pacific and New Zealand (and, in particular, those of Māori), as well as showcasing the country more generally.

We are pleased to announce that the following keynote speakers have confirmed their (virtual) attendance:

  • Baroness Brenda Hale, former president of the UK Supreme Court will provide her reflections on judicial leadership.
  • Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, will be talking on climate change and gender.
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy, barrister and member of the House of Lords, will be discussing progress made toward gender equality and the remaining barriers.
  • Professor James Hathaway, University of Michigan Law School, will speak about women in need of protection and the Refugee Convention.

The New Zealand Association of Women Judges (NZAWJ) supports the 2021 biennial conference, both financially and by being part of the organising committees. We also thank the Ministry of Justice and all Heads of Bench, including Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann, Justice Stephen Kós, Justice Susan Thomas, Judge Heemi Taumaunu, Judge Wilson Isaac, Judge Christina Inglis and Judge David Kirkpatrick for their support of the conference.  

Justice Susan Glazebrook, President-Elect of the IAWJ
Judge Mary O’Dwyer, President of the NZAWJ