We are very proud that one of our founders, Professor Margaret Bedggood, was made a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the New Year Honours for services to human rights law. Still on our management committee, Margaret was our first chairperson (2001 – 2008) and before that was chief commissioner of the Human Rights Commission (1989-1994) and dean of the University of Waikato School of Law (1994-95) where she remains an Honorary Professor of Law. She was previously awarded Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (1993).
Margaret has an MA (NZ and London), an LLB (Otago) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato. She has been a member of Amnesty International since 1968, was previously Chair of the New Zealand section and was a member of AI’s governing body, the International Executive Committee, from 1999 to 2005.
She has taught in a variety of institutions and jurisdictions and has published in tort, employment law and human rights. She is a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford, and a member of the Faculty of a Masters’ Programme at the University of Oxford on International Human Rights Law.
She has been a member of the NZ Refugee Council and of the Peace Foundation Council and is a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust, which helped to establish the Centre at the University of Otago in 2009. She co-edited the Human Rights Foundation’s publication Law into Action: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand, (Thomson Reuters, 2011) and more recently co-edited International Human Rights Law in Aotearoa New Zealand, also published by Thomson Reuters (2018).