LEX & LORE Episode 3: The Lockdown: Resurgence | A Constitutional Brouhaha

10 April 2021 00:00 by Geoff McLay


How do constitutional conventions play into the Government’s announcement that the 2020 election is delayed due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in New Zealand? Geoff, Dean, Nessa and Eddie gather in an urgent fashion to discuss the drums beats of a constitutional crisis…or lack thereof.

Also in this episode, the panel dives deeper into how the Government is approaching lockdown post-Borrowdale, as it grapples with how to best encourage continued compliance with public health measures. Is this best achieved via signalling and advice, or rules and compulsion?

How do different professional cultures think of and respond to executive powers during a crisis? While public officials work out how to best exercise their powers for good to help communities respond to the crisis, lawyers ask, in the event that exercising those powers is not good or indeed unhelpful, how exercising those powers can be restricted. It is in this somewhat paradoxical post-Borrowdale landscape that the panel share their insights on these issues and more.

About the Guests

Dr Nessa Lynch, Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington
Specialises in criminal law, New Zealand Law Reports, discretion, youth justice and police action.

Dr Eddie Clark, Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
Areas of interest include Judicial review, administrative law, courts and democracy/public accountability.

Dr Dean Knight, Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington
Specialises in Constitutional law, administrative law, judicial review and local government

Cases Discussed:

Executive power
Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 1379

Further Reading:

Claudia Geiringer, No, National, the caretaker convention doesn’t apply now – and nor should it
Dean Knight and Nessa Lynch, Special Topic: Covid-19 and the Law