The ILA Reporter (ilareporter.org.au) is the official blog of the Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA). The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873. It has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies.The ILA Reporter provides analysis, commentary and discussion on issues in public and private international law which have bearing on Australia and the wider region.
It is curious that people who were so insistent on privacy in their ordinary lives, the British, should have been so neglectful in developing effective judicial and other legal rules for its protection. Nowhere was this irony more noticeable than in the Australian outposts of the British Empire.
The ability of an applicant for refugee status to relocate within their country of origin to escape persecution forms the basis of an important concept in international refugee law, known variously as the “internal relocation alternative”, “internal flight alternative”, “subsidiary protection” or “humanitarian protection”. The concept provides that if internal relocation is relevant and reasonable, the applicant is not a refugee. The concept is not codified in the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, however, it is relevant to the question of whether the applicant meets the definition of “refugee” as set out in Art 1A(2) of the Convention, as being any person who:
Close to twenty years after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials entered into force, significant reform of Australia’s anti-bribery architecture is underway. Parliamentary debate over the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the Bill) is anticipated during the next half of 2018. With an anti-bribery focus, the Bill presents an opportunity for Australia to play a greater role in the global fight against corruption and its pernicious effect on fair business and basic human rights. Sentiments expressed by Kofi Annan on the adoption of the 2003 UN Convention against Corruption are no less pertinent today. Imploring all nations, prosperous and less prosperous, to cooperate against corruption, the then Secretary-General noted that it ‘hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid’. Relatedly, bribery and corruption stagnates the rule of law and breeds distrust in government institutions.
I recently had the opportunity to interview William Brydie-Watson, a legal officer at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit). Unidroit was established in 1926 as an auxiliary body for the League of Nations, and then reformed in 1940 under the Unidroit Statute. Its purpose is to study and develop needs and methods for modernising, harmonising, and coordinating private law between States, with a focus on commercial law. Mr Brydie-Watson oversees the development of several of Unidroit’s current legislative projects, acts as Unidroit’s representative to APEC, manages the Unidroit Foundation as well as supervising interns and research scholars at Unidroit.
The Australian International Law Journal, published by the Australian Branch of the International Law Association, is calling for papers of between 6,000 and 12,000 words on topics of public or private international law. Casenotes (2,000-3,000 words) and book reviews (1,000 words) within the area of public or private international law are also welcome.
Papers should be submitted by email to the Editors c/o firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2018. Accepted submissions will be published in Volume 24 of the Journal.
Persons interested in submitting a paper for consideration should refer to the AILJ Guidelines for Authors.
The recent success of the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia has put a spotlight on alternative dispute resolution in international law, a far cry from the disappointments of the South China Sea arbitration in which China refused to participate. In the context of these recent developments, this article will explore the philosophy, popularity and possibilities of alternative dispute resolution in international law.
The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’) are now inviting submissions for volume 19(2).
The deadline for submissions is 1 July 2018. MJIL is a peer-reviewed academic journal based at the University of Melbourne which publishes innovative scholarly research and critical examination of issues in international law.
In an interview with Guardian Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has voiced his opinion that ‘like-minded nations’ should consider a revision of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“the Convention”). The objective of such a revision would be (though he has not explicitly said so) to degrade the non-refoulement obligation, which provides that States cannot expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. It is the cornerstone to refugee protection and the subject of the vast majority of refugee-related litigation globally.
In the island states of the South Pacific, state laws co-exist with customary laws. In addition, international law plays an increasing role in the region. In so far as international law governs the relationship between states, the position is not problematic, but the expansion of ‘modern’ international laws into the realm of individuals and non-State bodies increases the complexities of the relationship between the different types of law.