Dr Lynch joined the Law Faculty in 2008. Dr Lynch is a leading expert on youth justice law and policy. Recent work focusses on the use of developmental science and neuro-science to law and policy, particularly in age-boundaries in law and in culpability assessments in sentencing for serious offending. Her book on New Zealand youth justice is in its third edition, and she has collaborated with leading experts around the globe. She served for 12 years on the Youth Court Education Committee of the Institute of Judicial Studies. Dr Lynch’s other research focus is emerging technology and law, particularly in DNA, biometrics and facial recognition technology. She has led influential research on facial recognition technology in New Zealand, particularly in policing. She combines her two primary research interests in thinking about how emerging technology affects children and young people in the justice system, with recent publications examining the use of technology in youth justice during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how facial recognition technology may impact children and young people in the criminal justice context. Dr Lynch’s scholarly work is high impact globally and locally, and her expertise is sought after in the government, judicial and non-governmental fields. She has spent time on secondment at the New Zealand Ministry of Justice and was a member of the Law Commission’s Expert Advisory Group on the review of the DNA legislation which reported in December 2020. She was a special advisor to New Zealand Police on facial recognition technology in 2021, and member and then Chair of the Data Ethics Advisory Group which provides advice on ethical use of data in the public sector in New Zealand. She was the independent advisor on the New Zealand Cross-Government Biometrics Group in 2020-2021. As of May 2022, Dr Lynch has taken up a senior role in the public sector in Wellington, but retains an association with the Faculty as a Research Fellow and continues to supervise research students.
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