Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice

  • January 11, 2018

Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice

Honouring Our Ancestors in Law:
Legal Personality and Indigenous Governance of Lands and Waters


Wednesday, January 31, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (followed by a reception with light refreshments)


Allard Hall (Room 104, DLA Piper Hall)


In order to ensure a seat at this lecture, please send us an email indicating the number of attendees by January 26.

This lecture qualifies for one hour of Continued Professional Development credit.

More event information

Speaker: Jacinta Ruru, Professor of Law, University of Otago

On the world stage there is now a suite of legal devices that aspire to recognise Indigenous peoples’ cultural environmental management philosophies and practices.  Of international acclaim, in Aotearoa New Zealand, in 2014, Te Urewera, a large forested national park became simply: Te Urewera “a legal entity” with “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person”.  In 2017, Aotearoa New Zealand’s third longest river, the Whanganui river was likewise recognised in law as an Indigenous ancestor with legal personality.  These laws revive once again Māori Indigenous worldviews for knowing and caring for lands and waters, including Papatuanuku (earth mother) and reassert a founding place for Māori law in guiding regional natural resource governance and management. This address considers these statutes within a broader realm of possibilities for legal solutions anchored in reconciliation between nation state governments and Indigenous peoples in recognition of colonial injustice and degradation to lands and waters; the lived homes of Indigenous peoples.  New innovative law and policy such as legal personality offer us all hope for more socially just futures. 

About the Speaker

Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) is Professor of Law at the University of Otago, Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Centre of Māori Research Excellence and a fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Jacinta holds a PhD from the University of Victoria, Canada.

About Marlee Kline
This lecture honours the memory of Marlee Gayle Kline, a member of the law school at UBC from 1989. Professor Kline died in 2001 after a lengthy and determined struggle with leukemia. Her work on feminist legal theory and critical race theory, child welfare law and policy, law's continued colonialism, and restructuring of the social welfare state is internationally acclaimed. This lectureship not only recognizes Marlee's rich contribution to the law school community but also reflects her belief in the central role social justice concerns must play in legal education and the law.

Presented by: Social Justice Program, Indigenous Legal Studies Program, and the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies