A significant five years since Lecretia Seales v Attorney General

A significant five years since Lecretia Seales v Attorney General 2
A significant five years since Lecretia Seales v Attorney General 3

In 2015, Lecretia Seales went to the High Court to seek a ruling that would allow a doctor to assist her to die with her consent; in September, the End of Life Choice Act will give all New Zealanders the opportunity to vote in a referendum to allow assisted dying.  

For the past five years, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law has presented thought-provoking lectures in honour of Lecretia Seales. This year, Professor Geoff McLay has gathered a panel including key players from the original case, and from the End of Life Choice Act debate in Parliament, to give their perspectives on how law reform has progressed.  

“It is incredibly important in an election year, during which the New Zealand public will be asked to commit their vote to a binding referendum about the End of Life Choice Act, that we revisit Lecretia’s landmark case, that led to the Act and the referendum,” says Geoff.  

The panel includes Lecretia’s widower Matt Vickers; Court of Appeal Justice David Collins, who heard and made the decision on the case; Barrister Andrew Butler, Lecretia’s lawyer; Crown lawyers on the case Mike Heron QC, and Paul Rishworth QC. 

Contributing from a law reform perspective will be Members of Parliament Chris Bishop and Kiri Allen, who made speeches on the Act as it went through Parliament; researcher Jessica Young from the University of Otago, and Māmari Stephens, Reader in Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.  

“This panel gives us the chance to hear the reflections of the people most involved in Lecretia’s case, and the law reform process that followed,” says Geoff.  

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be recorded, and made available to the public here from 1 pm, Thursday 4 June. If you wish to receive the link directly, please register at [email protected].  

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