Your trusted CPD partner

Immigration & Protection Tribunal & COVID-19

Immigration & Protection Tribunal & COVID-19
Add to CPD Planner


The Immigration and Protection Tribunal (the Tribunal) is an independent body established under the Immigration Act 2009 and hears a range of appeals. The stakes are extremely high with the decisions of the Tribunal often life changing for those subject to its decisions and these stakes are potentially compounded in a COVID-19 world. This seminar will take a practical approach in providing candid advice with regard to submitting strong appeals including when there are COVID-19 related matters to take into account.

This seminar will include:

  • How references to COVID-19 have been included in claims across all streams of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal’s work (residence, deportation and refugee).
  • How blanket references to the COVID-19 pandemic are unlikely to affect the outcomes of Tribunal appeals; instead, how the impact of the pandemic should be made specific and relevant to the circumstances of the appellant.
  • How COVID-19 has affected, and may again affect, the manner in which Tribunal appeal hearings are conducted; and what alternative options there are for the presentation of evidence in hearings.

Learning objectives

By attending this seminar you will be able to:

  • Have a clear understanding of the distinct legal tests for successful appeals to the Tribunal: for example, special circumstances in residence appeals, exceptional humanitarian circumstances in deportation appeals, and real chance of serious harm in refugee appeals.
  • Understand what kinds of COVID-19 related evidence may feasibly support appeals to the Tribunal.
  • Draw specific links between the COVID-19 related evidence and the particular appeal being brought to the Tribunal.
  • Be better prepared to present submissions and evidence by video and other electronic means, where COVID-19 prevents in-person attendance at hearings.

Who should attend

All lawyers and general practitioners from all experience levels.


A short paper, in PDF format, together with a copy of the PowerPoint presentation will be emailed out prior to the seminar.


  • 4.00pm - 6.00pm

Fee (incl GST)

In Short

  • $145 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $195 - Non-members
  • Live web stream group pricing available! Click here

Do you want to register more than one person for this course? Use the Multiple Registration button below or Click here
Download registration form

Live Web Stream 4 February
Auckland 4 February


Bruce WEB EDIT Bruce Burson
Immigration & Protection Tribunal, New Zealand

Bruce Burson has 25 years’ experience in migration/refugee law and policy. He is a Senior Member of the New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal, where he manages the Refugee and Protection stream, and has written a number of the Tribunal’s leading judgments on refugee and protection law. Bruce is also a Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative at the University of London.  

He is a member of the Advisory Committee to the inter-governmental Platform on Disaster Displacement and is also member of the International Law Association Committee on the International Law Implications of Sea-level Rise. Bruce has worked with a number of UN agencies as well as  IFRC on issues relating to climate change, disasters and human mobility.

He is the editor of Climate Change and Migration: South Pacific Perspectives (2010) and co-editor of Human Rights and the Refugee Definition (Brill 2016). He has recently authored a chapter of the history of refugee status determination for a forthcoming Handbook on Refugee Law (OUP, 2021).  

Judge Peter Spiller pic WEB EDIT Judge Peter Spiller
Chair, Immigration & Protection Tribunal, New Zealand

Judge Peter Spiller, PhD, is a graduate of Natal, Cambridge and Canterbury Universities. He has taught law at universities in South Africa and New Zealand over the last 45 years. Judge Spiller concluded his full-time academic career as Professor of Law at the University of Waikato, where he also served as Chairperson and Acting Dean. During the years 2005-2010, he was Principal Disputes Referee, in charge of the Disputes Tribunals of New Zealand. In 2009, Judge Spiller was appointed as a District Court Judge, and he exercised civil and criminal jurisdiction in Hamilton and surrounding courts. Since 2014, he has been Chair of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

Judge Spiller has published a number of books, including A History of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, The Disputes Tribunals of New Zealand, and The New Zealand Law Dictionary, and published a wide range of articles on legal history and the court system.

Cancellation and refund policy

You may cancel your registration eight working days in advance of an event, and you will receive a refund less a 25% administration fee. If you cancel less than eight working days in advance of the event, no refund is payable. If you are unable to attend, you may transfer your registration to another person. If you wish to do so you must advise CLE in writing of the change. NZLS CLE Ltd reserves the right to close registrations, and, cancel or reschedule an event as necessary. Where an event is cancelled by CLE, a full refund is payable.

freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111

[email protected]

04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand