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 2020

  • Ongoing communication with key members of the judiciary (at District and High Court levels) on initiatives taken to implement and refine digitally based processes;
  • Regular Zoom meetings with international colleagues who are members of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution;
  • Zoom call with James Caldwell, Matalena Liaupepe, Regan Nathan: Government Centre for Dispute Resolution on developing online practice;
  • Participation in the online webinar of the Australian Society for Computers and Law: ‘The Future of Courts’ with The Hon. Michael Kirby, Professor Richard Susskind and Professor Tania Sourdin;
  • Development of standards for online practice (e.g. in mediation) which will, over time, appear on the The International Council for Online Dispute Resolution website;
  • Communication with the Centre for Computational Law and Legal Technology at the Schools of Law and Information Technology, Singapore Management University;
  • Invited contribution to online seminar on ‘Alternatives to In-Person Arbitration: Pandemics and Beyond’ (March 2020); hosted by Dr S I Strong, School of Law, University of Sydney;
  • Following up on the initiative of the Department of Internal Affairs on digital inclusion;
  • Consultation with Thomson Reuters (Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore) on digital platforms for lawyers and mediators; resource & information management;
  • Zoom calls with key mediation colleagues in UK and Europe on developing “green” policies for mediators and arbitrators, to acknowledge climate change implications of pandemics;• Generally, clarify the issues shaping digital developments under lockdown (and beyond):
  • Rapid expansion of digital use — the “enforced experiment”;
  • Innovation in systems design for courts and access to justice;
  • Blended practice in teaching and legal & mediation practice;
  • Social justice issues: digital inclusion, access;
  • Highlighting requirement for fairness, transparency, equity
  • Standards for online ‘competence’;
  • Recognition and inclusion of cultural norms and practice, tikanga.

2020 Outputs

We have made ongoing contributions to the Kluwer Mediation. As one of the regular (invited) writers, I have contributed a number of entries on online dispute resolution issues.

I was invited to complete a chapter for a book on the foundations of mediation and access to justice edited by Dr Howard Gadlin, former Ombuds at the National Institutes of Health, USA (to be published by DRI Press, Hamline Law's Dispute Resolution Institute)

The Centre contributed to an online seminar on ‘Alternatives to In-Person Arbitration: Pandemics and Beyond’ in March 2020.

I gave a presentation on ‘Best practices in virtual dispute resolution’.Currently the Centre is working on a collaboration for a paper/research on indigenous protocols in online/digital dispute resolution, ‘Digital whanaungatanga’, with Colin Rule ( and Dr Leah Wing (U. Mass, Amherst), and FairWay Resolution (NZ).

Ian Macduff
Centre Director


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.