In the course of several weeks, WMU-Cooley Down Under law students already completed one law course and started a new one. In their UN Rights of Indigenous People course, students completed their studies by presenting positions on the 2015 COP21 UN agreement on climate change through the lens of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The students demonstrated how, after an intensive introduction to the subject by the talented Valmaine Toki, they were able to frame legally appropriate arguments regarding two important United Nations protocols. Students were introduced to new concepts in a course on International Trade Issues by Professor Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez. Students were treated to two guest speakers in their Introduction to New Zealand Law course. Terry Singh spoke about the criminal defense system and R. Bennett-King, a District Manager for Police Prosecution Services, discussed the role of prosecutors (who are by and large NOT attorneys in New Zealand). Finally, this week brought a whirlwind tour of Contract, Tort and Property law in China and New Zealand in Professor Liao’s course.
Students further explored the natural beauty of Aotearoa, New Zealand by traveling to the Pacific coast, seeing waterfalls and rain forest along the way. The white sand beaches of Tauranga and the extinct volcano of Mount Maunganui provided a day of respite and repose. Students also got to spend a beautiful day poolside with professors and classmates.
WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Kimberly E. O’Leary is directing the law school’s foreign study program in New Zealand and Australia. She and her students will be sharing their experiences throughout the Hilary 2016 semester.