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Right to Silence

Right to Silence
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The Right to Silence is fundamental both under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and at common law. This seminar will consider the key developments in this area on a practical level and will provide the benefits of both prosecution and defence perspectives.

This seminar will include:

  • A discussion on, that the right to silence is at risk. That there are increasing calls for limitations of this right. Such suggestions generally arise after harrowing and highly publicised child-abuse cases, which often portray families of the victim as stonewalling police investigations
  • A discussion on that the right to silence, is a cornerstone principle of fair trials. Historically, it reflects the common law moving away from torture and forced confessions. Today, however, the right to silence materialises as a fundamental fair trial right. This right needs to be safeguarded
  • A discussion on how the right to silence protects the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” Changes to this right would drastically impact rights of defendants in criminal trials. Specifically, it will negatively impact society’s most vulnerable
  • Improvement in lawyers’ knowledge of the importance of this right and the dangers of minimising it.

Learning objectives

By attending this seminar you will:

  • Understand the role of the right to silence in the broader picture of a fair trial. This right is fundamental to the adversarial justice system and cannot be viewed within a vacuum from the broader criminal justice system.
  • Know the role that media outlets and political figures play in advancing arguments against the right to silence.
  • Appreciate the necessity of the right to silence through observing the limited right and adverse inferences doctrine in overseas jurisdictions.

Who should attend

All experienced criminal lawyers.


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 PDF registration form

Live Web Stream 30 March
Auckland 30 March


Marie pic WEB EDIT Marie Dyhrberg QC

Marie is a Queen’s Counsel specialising in Criminal Law. In 2014, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel. Marie appears regularly at the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in New Zealand. She also appears with clients before the Parole Board. Marie has engaged in mentoring newly admitted Barristers for the last 35 years and regularly presents papers and appears as a panel member in legal seminars, advocacy training workshops and is invited to partake in discussion groups with related government organisations. Marie has had a number of legal professional positions, including President of the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association and Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA), the world’s largest organisation of Law Societies, Bar Associations and individual lawyers. The IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. She is the first woman to take on the role of Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the IBA. In this role Marie has the opportunity to be involved in key legal international issues and to bring them to the New Zealand legal system. She is also a Senior Magistrate of the Pitcairn Magistrate’s Court and is currently President of the ADLS and convenor of its Criminal Law Committee since 2014.

Jo pic WEB EDIT Jo Murdoch
Special Counsel, Meredith Connell, Auckland

Jo is Special Counsel at Meredith Connell specialising in Crown prosecution trial work. After graduating with MA (Latin) LLB(Hons) at Otago University, she was clerk to the then Chief Justice of New Zealand the Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias from 2004 to 2005. Since 2006 Jo has prosecuted all manner of criminal offences in the Youth Court, District Court and High Court, starting at the Wellington Crown Solicitor’s Office in 2006 until 2011. In 2008 she was awarded the Pegasus Scholarship and travelled to London, Edinburgh and Belfast to observe criminal trials. Jo was seconded in 2008-2009 to work with the Solicitor-General at the Crown Law Office, and appeared on landmark criminal appeals such as R v AM in the Court of Appeal (guideline sentencing decision on sexual violation offences), and R v Morgan (hostile witnesses), R v Hessell (reduction for guilty plea) in the Supreme Court. She also wrote the Crown Solicitor Network’s submissions in response to the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill, the forerunner to the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. Jo left the Crown in 2011 to work at the Wellington Public Defence Service, representing clients on serious offending, with a particular interest in mentally impaired defendants. After a secondment to Manukau in 2013, she reverted back to the Crown in 2014, joining Meredith Connell that year, becoming partner in 2017, and Special Counsel in 2020. Jo has been a Faculty Member at the NZLS CLE Litigation Skills course, overseen the Sexual Violence Pilot Court for the Crown since its inception until 2019, presented many times to stakeholders, and most recently presented on Communication Assistance CLE with His Honour Judge Collins, David Niven, and professionals in the field for the ADLS. She enjoys giving back to the profession by teaching at both Auckland and Otago Law Schools.

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