What's Mine Is Yours and Yours Is? Relationship property laws are undergoing a facelift. This article explains some of the main issues with the existing Property (Relationships) Act and how readers can give feedback to the New Zealand Law Commission as part of its review.
The Ultimate Choice Should we have the option of choosing a medically assisted death in New Zealand? This article provides an overview of the submissions provided the Health Select Committee as well as comments from individual submitters. It then discusses the various legal issues that would need to be considered by the Government before giving the green light.
A Little-Known New Zealand Law Makes Dads Pay for Unplanned Pregnancy There is a little-known law in New Zealand which enables solo mums who are not married to the father of their child to apply to the Family Court to recover the cost of being pregnant. This article raises awareness of this law for all the solo mums out there who are struggling to make ends meet.
John Banks Paternity Case Highlights a Legal Loophole Paternity law in New Zealand can be difficult to navigate and some loopholes are having serious consequences for mothers, fathers and children. This article highlights one such loophole in regards to DNA testing and suggests that a law change is needed.
Are You Really My Dad? The NZ Law Commission has estimated that up to 1.8% of the population (or 80,000 people) have the incorrect father on their birth certificate. This article explores the complex issue of misattributed paternity from the child's point of view.
Sex, Lies and a Baby This article explores the complex issue of misattributed paternity from the point of view of the parents involved - the mother, the genetic father and the non-genetic father.
Who Gets Custody of the Embryos? When a couple separates mid way through IVF treatment the female or male ex-partner may wish to proceed with treatment in order to conceive a child. This article explores how to resolve this complex situation and is based on a chapter of my LLM dissertation. Replacing Sex With Science This article marks the 10 year anniversary of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act by providing an overview of the Act as well as discussion of a number of matters which have arisen since the Act was introduced. These include donor and surrogate shortages and New Zealanders opting for fertility treatment overseas to avoid local restrictions.
Future Proofing Your Fertility As more women have children later in life some are opting to freeze their eggs. This article outlines what the procedure involves from a medical perspective. It also highlights relevant legal issues in regards to storage timeframes, the responsibilities of fertility clinics when storing eggs, and the rare instances where a woman’s eggs are accidentally implanted into a different woman.
Should Men Be Able to Opt Out of Fatherhood? This article discusses the 10 year anniversary of one of the most high profile American cases on men's reproductive rights to date - Dubay v Wells. The plaintiff Matt Dubay argued that men should have the equivalent right to woman's right to an abortion, otherwise known as a financial abortion Inside the #MeToo Blog Giving Abused New Zealand Lawyers a Voice My experience of setting up a #metoo blog for the legal profession in New Zealand and advice for others wanting to do the same for other professions.
Compulsory Donation of Blood, Bone Marrow and Tissue by Saviour Siblings Using assisted reproductive technology to conceive a child who is a genetic match to an ill sibling, and can therefore act as a donor, was the subject of the best-selling novel My Sister’s Keeper. While the book and subsequent movie adaptation focusses on the social and ethical issues, this article analyses the legal issues and considers the question: is it in the donor child’s welfare and best interests to act as a donor for their sibling? Other types of donation are also discussed, for example child to parent donation.
Reproductive Rights - For Men? This article explores the question of whether men should have increased reproductive choice and the ability to choose whether to become a legal father (or not) in two complex situations. First, where the child is unplanned and second, where the mother of the child has tricked the father in order to become pregnant. This article is based on my LLM dissertation.
Non-consensual Artificial Paternity The use of assisted reproductive technology to conceive children can raise complex legal issues. This article explores the scenario where a couple store embryos while in a relationship, but subsequently separate and disagree over whether the embryos should be used to conceive a child. The fundamental issue that is explored is how to reconcile the right to become a parent and the right to not be forced into parenthood without consent. This article is based on my LLM dissertation.
Non-consensual, Deceitful and Misattributed Paternity This dissertation explores three types of paternity: non-consensual, deceitful and misattributed paternity. It is argued that these types of paternity are a modern reality that result in serious practical and legal consequences for all parties involved, but particularly for the father and child. They do not sit comfortably within the current legal framework on paternity which is too rigid, unclear or outdated to resolve issues that arise, and perhaps result in inequitable outcomes. In the light of this, several recommendations are provided to resolve these issues, most taking the form of statutory amendments.