New Zealand Centre for ICT Law

The New Zealand Centre for ICT Law is a specialist centre which studies the implications of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within the legal context.

About the Centre

The New Zealand Centre for ICT Law is a specialist centre which investigates, studies and considers the implications of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) within the context of law, technological developments and its impact upon society. It also:

a) Serves as a focus for promoting and undertaking research into the interface between law and new communications technologies.

b) Studies the implications of new communications technologies upon law and the policy that informs legal outcomes.

The Centre allows students, faculty, researchers, lawyers, ICT specialists and companies in the computer and digital communications fields, along with entrepreneurs and technology and software developers, to work together to identify the legal ramifications surrounding the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace. To this end the Centre engages with other disciplines such as Computer Science, the Departments of Computer Studies offered by the University of Auckland's School of Business and the Social Sciences Departments of the Faculty of Arts so that studies and research are developed in an holistic manner that will properly recognise the legal, technical and societal implications of outcomes.

We are an information hub to develop resources to assist in crystallising and ensuring legal certainty for business and commercial activity in the online space. Another of our functions is to develop specialist teaching in the field of ICT law and we are currently developing a masters programme which will allow for deeper and more developed study of specific aspects of law and ICT.

The Centre has a Strategic Partnership with InternetNZ. Together they work on projects of mutual interest involving the Internet and its use and funding is provided by InternetNZ to enable to Centre to carry out its work.

Finally, the Centre is designed to develop and promote publications in the field of Law and ICT.

Highlights 2018

  • Ian Macduff has taken over as Director, on Dr David Harvey’s return to the District Court bench on an Acting Warrant. The former Director remains closely involved with the Centre and with work on the Harmful Digital Communications Act
  • The Centre’s and Law School’s hosting of the annual Forum on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), information about which can be seen here
  • Working with a group of students from the Law School’s Equal Justice Project on “social justice issues in ODR"
  • Developing collaboration with New Zealand and international colleagues on “Ethical AI”
  • Working with local and international colleagues on developments in digital technologies and access to justice (with a special focus on self-represented litigants)

Highlights 2017

The Centre has been joined by Ian Macduff who is now Assistant Director.


  • The research into the operation of the Harmful Digital Communications Act continued over the year in conjunction with Netsafe and InternetNZ. A casenote by the Director appeared in New Zealand Criminal Law Review and an analysis of trends in prosecutions under the Harmful Digital Communications Act has been carried out and a paper is in preparation.
  • The Centre supported the Lawfest Conference held in Auckland and a paper was presented at that conference on the Online COurt proposals that are being developed in England.
  • In conjunction with the Auckland District Law Society the Centre offered a CLE course on computer skills and digital security. Despite low attendance feedback on the event was positive and consideration is being given to methods of similar offerings in the future.


  • David Harvey was invited to discuss Online Courts and Technology at the National Centre for State Courts Technology Conference in Salt Lake City Utah in September. Watch the video.
  • Participation in two panels at the Online Safety on Edge Conference run by the E-Safety Commissioner’s Office of Australia and Netsafe from New Zealand. The focus was on the operation of the Harmful Digital Communications Act.


  • Postgraduate courses in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity were offered and well attended in 2017. In 2018, an intensive postgraduate course on Media Law in the Digital Age will be taught.

Outlook for 2018

  • Research into the use by the Crown Courts in England of a document management system that has eliminated the use of paper-based materials in the criminal jury courts.
  • Participation in a project in conjunction with Simpson Grierson to develop digital tools for community law organisations in an event described as a Designathon which is based upon hackathons which are intensive sessions of problem identification and solution using technology.
  • Staging of the ODR Forum 2018 by Ian Macduff.

Our Director

Centre Director Ian MacDuff was, until June 2016, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Dispute Resolution Initiative at Singapore Management University. Ian has been a practising mediator for over 30 years, in commercial, environmental, policy, intercultural, family, online mediation and other fields.  

What's coming up

Numerous events are held in Auckland by the Centre including conferences, lectures and seminars. To be notified by email of upcoming events, please join the Law School events mailing list. 

Contact us

For more information, contact the Director, Ian MacDuff, at the Auckland Law School.

Postal address:
Auckland Law School
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142
New Zealand