2023 Kirby Seminar series

Thursday 21 September 2023, 12.00pm

Via Zoom or On-Campus at Lecture Theatre 3 (LT3), W40 UNE Business School 


The Convention on the Rights of the Persons with

Disabilities 2006 and Commercial Lawyers

Professor Kris Gledhill

School of Law, Auckland University of Technology


If interested and to obtain a link, please register for this Kirby Seminar at


In this Kirby Seminar, Professor Kris Gledhill will explore the intersection between commercial law and human rights law. The seminar will particularly look at the potential impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (CRPD) upon a variety of commercial law areas. In short, governments implementing the CRPD will be required to regulate multiple areas of commerce to be compliant.  The CRPD will impact corporate actors in those states, who invests in those states or who trades with those states. Since most states in the world have ratified the CRPD, as has the European Union, this presentation will seek to illustrate why commercial lawyers need to be human rights lawyers.

Kris Gledhill is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand. A graduate of the universities of Oxford and Virginia, his career spans over 30 years as both a legal practitioner and a law academic. This includes many aspects of law, with a particular focus on criminal law and human rights law, especially international human rights. As a London barrister Kris worked largely in criminal law and representing the rights of detained people. Though always contributing to academia through teaching, journal articles and books, he became a full-time academic when moving with his family to New Zealand in the mid-2000s, first at the University of Auckland, then at the Auckland University of Technology from 2016.

Kris was attracted in part by the focus of AUT on industry connections and the willingness to integrate ‘real world’ examples into academic learning. One of his roles has been to establish clinical legal education as part of the AUT Law School curriculum. He maintains ongoing links with the legal profession, providing advice to practitioners and policy makers, is involved in drafting legislation, and regularly provides continuing professional development lectures. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association for many years.