Professor Warren Brookbanks

profile image

Phone: (09) 921-9721 ext 6115


Physical Address:
Law School
Room WY
Level 6, AUT Law School Building
120 Mayoral Drive
Auckland Central 1010
Postal Address:
Law School
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
Auckland University of Technology
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142



Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Member Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL)
  • Chairman Oakley Mental Health Foundation Trust Board
  • Member Criminal Bar Association
  • Ex officio Member Auckland District Law Society Health and Disability Law Subcommittee
  • Former Chair Oakley Mental Health Research Foundation
  • Invited member New Zealand Law Society Criminal Law Subcommittee (2017 -)


Warren Brookbanks was a Professor of Law at Auckland University  where he taught from 1983 to 2016. He is co-author of New Zealand’s leading criminal law textbook Simester & Brookbanks  Principles of Criminal Law (4th edn) and a contributing author and update author of both  Adams on Criminal Law  (Brookers, Wellington 1992) and  Brookers Family Law – Incapacity  (Thomson/Brookers, 2005). He has authored and co-edited leading texts criminal justice  and  psychiatry and the law including Tolmie & Brookbanks (eds)  Criminal Justice in New Zealand (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2007), Bell & Brookbanks  Mental Health Law in New Zealand (2nd edn), Brookbanks & Simpson (eds)  Psychiatry and the Law(LexisNexis, Wellington, 2007) and Brookbanks, Competencies of Trial – Fitness to Plead in New Zealand  (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2011). In 2015 he published Brookbanks (ed) Therapeutic Jurisprudence: New Zealand Perspectives (Thomson, Reuters, Wellington, 2015). Warren was a founding trustee of the Odyssey House Trust (NZ) and is a former president of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL).  Is a regular speaker at conferences on New Zealand and has consulted with various government departments, including the Ministries of Justice and Health and the New Zealand Law Commission.

From January – March 2018 Warren Brookbanks hold a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at the Northumbria University Law School in Newcastle, England. Before joining the Law School at AUT, Warren Brookbanks was a Professor of Law at Auckland University where he taught from 1983 to 2016. He is co-author …


Teaching Areas:

Criminal Law
Criminal Justice
Psychiatry and Law
Therapeutic Jurisprudence /Non-Adversarial Justice

Research Areas:

Mental Health law generally, therapeutic jurisprudence, unfitness to stand trial, criminal law theory.

Research Summary:

I have a longstanding interest in substantive criminal law and developments in psychiatry and the law. In particular, I have an active research interest in case law developments and issues in relation to unfitness to stand trial and have a new book on the topic due for publication in June 2018.

Current Research Projects:

  • My current research centres around a new edition of Principles of Criminal Law, due  for publication in 2019. I am also researching in the area of non-adversarial justice, with a number of research projects planned through the AUT Centre for non-adversarial justice.



  1. Mackay, R & Brookbanks, WJ, (eds) Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2018) Forthcoming.
  2. Merry, A & Brookbanks, WJ, (2017) Merry and McCall Smith’s Errors, Medicine and The Law (2nd edn) (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017).
  3. Bell, S & Brookbanks, WJ, (2017) Mental Health Law in New Zealand (Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2017).
  4. Brookbanks, WJ, (2015) (ed) Therapeutic Jurisprudence: New Zealand Perspectives (Thomson/Reuters, Wellington, 2015).
  5. Simester, AP & Brookbanks, WJ, (2012) Principles of Criminal Law (4th ed) Thomson/Reuters, Wellington, 2012).
  6. Brookbanks, WJ, (2011) Competencies of Trial: Fitness to Plead in New Zealand (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2011).

Chapters on Books

  1. Brookbanks, WJ, (2011) Chapter c16 “Partial Defences to Murder in New Zealand“, in A Reed & M Bohlander (eds) Loss of Control and Diminished Responsibility (Ashgate, Farnham, 2011).
  2. Brookbanks, WJ, (2013) c12 “Managing the challenges and protecting the rights of intellectually disabled offenders” in B McSherry & I Freckelton (eds) Coercive Care: Rights, Law and Policy (Rourtledge, Oxford, 2013).
  3. Brookbanks, WJ, (2013) c5 “The New Face of Preventive Detention in New Zealand: Public Protection Orders” in P Keyzer (ed) Preventive Detention: Asking the Fundamental Questions (Intersentia, Cambridge, 2013).
  4. Brookbanks, WJ, (2013) c18 “Further Reform of Unfitness to Stand Trial” in J Dawson & K Gledhill (eds) New Zealand’s Mental Health Act in Practice (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2013).
  5. Brookbanks, WJ & Bell, S, (2014) c5 “Decision-making and the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988” in K Diesfeld & I McIntosh (eds) Elder Law in New Zealand (Thomson/Reuters, Wellington, 2014).

Book reviews

  1. Brookbanks, W, (2017) Book Review: Graeme Brown Criminal Sentencing as Practical Wisdom (Hart Publishing Oxford, 2017) NZCLR 305.
  2. Brookbanks, W (2016) Book Review: David Mather “Parole in New Zealand: Law and Practice” (Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2016) [2017] NZCLR 143.

Legislation and case notes

  1. Brookbanks, W, (2017) “Legislation Note: The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment & Treatment) Act 2017” [2017] NZCLR 291.
  2. Brookbanks, W, (2017) “Case Note: N v R” [2017] NZCA 170 [2017] NZCLR 248.


  1. Brookbanks, WJ (2017) Non-Adversarial Justice: An evolving Paradigm, 26(4), Journal of Judicial Administration, 222-231.
  2. Brookbanks, WJ & Skipworth, J, (2015) Reclassification and leave of special patients unfit to stand trial, New Zealand Law Journal, 215.
  3. Brookbanks, WJ, (2014) Bail and Community Leave, New Zealand Law Journal, 334.
  4. Brookbanks, WJ, (2014) Automatism and Sleepwalking, New Zealand Law Journal, 147.
  5. Brookbanks, WJ, (2014) Reconsidering fitness to plead, New Zealand Law Journal, 8.
  6. Brookbanks, WJ, (2014) ‘Special Hearings’ under New Zealand’s Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003, 65(2), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 215.


  • Awarded a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship, which I  undertook at Northumbria Univerity Law School, Newcastle, England, during January – March 2018.