Rising star descends on the Hague
Last year, Madison Dobie, who had been a lawyer at Engineering New Zealand, won the New Zealand Law Society’s Young In-House Lawyer of the Year, an award sponsored by MAS. She used the award’s scholarship to travel to The Hague to undertake an intensive three-week study programme on international and human rights law. On MAS spoke to Madison about her experience of The Hague and what she’s been up to since.
What was your experience studying at The Hague like? Since I was young, I was fascinated by The Hague and its Peace Palace. It’s one of the most important places in the world for international and human rights law and houses the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and The Hague Academy of International Law. Professionals and students come from all over the world to attend their three-week intensive course on international law, which is taught by world-renowned scholars in international law.
We were taught by experts from Germany, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, France and Cameroon. We also received guest lectures from judges of the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court and international ambassadors.
What did you take away from the experience? Without a doubt, the people I met were the highlight of the experience. As the course was so intensive, we became very close and spent long hours in the Peace Palace Library discussing our countries’ respective challenges and successes. It was truly special to meet young lawyers from all around the globe who are passionate about rights protection and international law.
How did winning Young In-House Lawyer of the Year help make this happen? I am incredibly grateful to MAS for sponsoring the award and to Engineering New Zealand for nominating me because I wouldn’t have been able to attend The Hague Academy and have this experience without the award scholarship. Experiences like this make all my struggles and hard work worth it.
You were also listed in the Rising Star list of up and coming lawyers. How did that feel? It was an absolute honour to be included on the Rising Star list. In July 2019, I joined the Public Law Litigation Team at Dentons Kensington Swan. Our team provides dispute resolution and public law advice to a wide variety of clients, including central and local government, private companies, Crown entities and regulatory bodies.
Making the shift from in-house to private practice was nerve-racking, but receiving such a nomination from Dentons Kensington Swan was a huge vote of confidence. I am especially grateful to my partners Linda Clark and Hayden Wilson for their support and faith in me.