Professor Paul Thomas Rishworth

LLB(Hons), MJur

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Paul Rishworth joined The University of Auckland Faculty of Law in 1987. His research interests are in the field of human rights and comparative constitutional law, and South Pacific legal studies. His work on the New Zealand Bill of Rights has been widely cited by peers, practitioners and judges. He has worked over the years as a consultant and advisor for government agencies and groups, including the Human Rights Commission, in New Zealand and overseas, on issues ranging from restrictions on hate speech to the autonomy of religious organisations to hire and ordain leaders.

Paul was the Faculty Dean and the Head of the Department of Law 2005-2010. He remains involved in the litigation of civil rights issues in the higher courts and in community organisations.

Research | Current

  • Human Rights Law
  • Public Law
  • Freedom of expression and religion
  • Law about education
  • South Pacific Legal Studies

Current research:

  • The idea of a Pacific regional court
  • The operation of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990
  • Religious expression in public affairs and education

Teaching | Current


  • LAW211 Public Law
  • LAW452 Rights and Freedoms (civil rights law in New Zealand taught through comparative law approach)

Other courses previously taught

  • Public Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Comparative Bill of Rights Law
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law
  • Education Law
  • South Pacific Legal Studies

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Knott, A., Rishworth, P., & Russo, C. J. (2017). Compliance with regulatory demands relating to notification of abuse of students: Perspectives from the USA, Queensland and New Zealand. International Journal of Law & Education, 21, 23-43.
  • Geiringer, C., & Rishworth, P. T. (2017). Magna Carta's legacy: Ideas of liberty and due process in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. New Zealand Law Review (4), 597-634.
  • Rishworth, P. (2016). Writing things unwritten: Common law in New Zealand’s constitution. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 14 (1), 137-155. 10.1093/icon/mow005
  • Rishworth, P., & Geiringer, C. (2015). Magna Carta’s Legacy? Ideas of liberty and due process in the New Zealand Bill of Rights. Paper presented at Rights, Liberty and Equality: Runnymede to the Beehive, Auckland, New Zealand. 25 September - 25 September 2015. Related URL.
  • Rishworth, P. T. (2015). Brief for the Defendant in Seales v Attorney-General [2015] NZHC 1239.
  • Rishworth, P. T. (2015). Human rights. New Zealand Law Review (2), 259-284.
  • Rishworth, P. (2014). The Bill of Rights. Paper presented at The New Zealand Supreme Court – the first ten years, Auckland, New Zealand. 14 November - 14 November 2014. Related URL.
  • Rishworth, P. T. (2014). Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law. Paper presented at Using Human Rights Law in Litigation, Auckland, New Zealand. 30 June - 30 June 2014. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

17 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 803
Level 2, Room 214
New Zealand