Health Law

Auckland Law School has internationally renowned professors working in the field of health and medical law, ethics and policy.

Academic staff researchers and teachers

Carrie Leonetti | Associate Professor
Phone: +64 9 923 4313

Field of research: forensic psychiatry; insanity defence, detention and compulsory treatment; DNA analysis; social psychology; eyewitness identification; interrogation and confessions.

Jo Manning | Professor
Phone: +64 9 923 8804

Field of research: medical and health law, policy and ethics issues; the Health and Disability Commissioners complaint system; medical negligence issues; legal issues in relation to death and dying.
Research and Study Leave July – December 2020.

Ron Paterson | Professor
Phone: +64 9 923 8028

Field of research: Health law and policy; mental health policy; regulation of health practitioners; patient safety and health quality; patients’ rights; the Health and Disability Commissioner complaint system.

Courses available in Health Law

  • LAWGENRL 432 - Health Care Law 
  • LAWHONS 722 - Medico-Legal Problems 
  • LAWPUBL 747 – Patients’ Rights

Examples of recent research

R Paterson, M Durie, B Disley, D Rangihunga, J Tiatia-Seath, J Tualamali’i, He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (Wellington, 2018)

R Paterson & J. Manning, “Complaint resolution, quality improvement and public protection: The diverse roles of Australasian health complaints entities” for I. Freckelton & K. Petersen (eds), Tensions and Traumas in Health Law (Federation Press 2017), 671-691

J Manning,“Hospitals and clinicians need not apply:” Withdrawing clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in undisputed cases” (2019) 26 Journal of Law and Medicine 538-548

J Manning, “‘Fair, simple, speedy and effective’? Barriers to access to justice in the Health and Disability Commissioner Complaints Process in New Zealand” [2018] New Zealand Law Review 611-656

Examples of recent research supervision

  • Who Knows Best? Critique of the Best Interests Test for Critically Ill Infants. Using Charlie Gard as the case study.
  • Vaccination in New Zealand: Who should call the shots?
  • Compulsory Care: The right of persons with mental disabilities to consent to medical treatment in New Zealand.
  • Does New Zealand’s legally undeveloped system for withdrawal and withholding of life-prolonging treatment from patients in a minimally conscious state give sufficient protection to the patient’s family in the event of disagreement with medical practitioners, and should we be going down the Court authorisation route as in the United Kingdom?
  • Tragic choices or tragic non-interference: Judicial review of kidney allocation decisions in New Zealand.
  • Doctors in the dock: Should the threshold for a conviction for ‘medical manslaughter’ be raised in New Zealand?
  • The doctrine of fitness to stand trial: Does the fitness to stand trial test adequately protect mentally impaired defendants in a modern criminal justice system?
  • To what extent should changes be introduced to the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 to ensure the health care model is fit for purpose?