Community News: Pursuing Justice for Victims of State Abuse

Community News: Pursuing Justice for Victims of State Abuse

March 27, 2017

Pursuing Justice for Victims of State Abuse

Dr Elizabeth Stanley and Sonja Cooper

Since the 1940s thousands of New Zealand children, young people and vulnerable adults have been removed from their homes and placed under state. The evidence that many suffered serious abuse is overwhelming. Disproportionately Maori children were placed in state care, in many cases losing all contact with their whanau, hapu and iwi.

Sonja Cooper and Elizabeth Stanley are at the forefront of those pursuing justice for the victims of abuse while in state care. This is a rare opportunity to hear about the shameful treatment hidden and denied for too long and the challenges of pursuing justice through the Courts. If the Courts can’t deliver justice what is required?

Dr Elizabeth Stanley is Director, Institute of Criminology, School of Social and Cultural Studies, at Victoria University of Wellington. Currently she holds a prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship. Last year Auckland University published The Road to Hell: State Violence against Children in Postwar New Zealand her account of the experiences of children and young people who suffered in state care.

Sonja Cooper is the principal of Cooper Legal. More than anyone else she has pursed justice for the victims of abuse while in state care. Sonja and her team are part of a small group of lawyers who are developing the law in historic abuse claims. In that context Sonja has particular expertise in tort law, the Limitation Act, equitable remedies and damages issues. Sonja and her team also utilise public law remedies, such as the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, to obtain appropriate and just outcomes for clients.

Please RSVP to [email protected] by Monday 3 April Please note this event qualifies for 1 hour of CPD

View the PDF here.


Date: Tuesday 4 April 2017

Time: 5.30pm - 7pm

Venue: Auckland University, Algie Lecture Theatre Level 2, Building 801 Auckland Law School 9 Eden Crescent

Community News

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