For the Australian National University’s Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL) Seminar in April, key members of Australia’s delegation to the United Nations (UN) Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) discussed latest developments in cyber and international law at the UN.
The third and final substantive OEWG session was held in March. Importantly, on 12 March 2021, 193 States adopted a consensus report containing recommendations to address cyber threats and ‘promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful’ international cyber environment (OEWG, Final Substantive Report UN Doc A/AC.290/2021/CRP.2, para 7 (‘OEWG Final Report’). The OEWG Final Report has now been endorsed by consensus by the UN General Assembly (UNGA). As part of that effort to improve peace and security in the cyber environment, the OEWG Final Report includes recommendations concerning the development of how international law applies in cyberspace, that States continue to:
Inform the UN Secretary-General, and through other appropriate avenues, of their national views and practices on how international law applies to states’ conduct in cyberspace (Recommendation 38),
Support, in a neutral and objective manner, capacity-building of other States in developing their national views and practices, to contribute to building common understandings of and consensus on how international law applies in cyberspace (Recommendation 39), and
Participate in future UN processes on international law and cyber as a key step to clarify and further develop common understandings on the issue (Recommendation 40).
At the talk on 27 April 2021, participants were able to learn first-hand from key Australian representatives in the OEWG process what has been Australia’s role in the recognition and elaboration of the application of international law to cyberspace so far, and Australia’s perspective on the implications of the OEWG Final Report going forward. The Panel consisted of:
Johanna Weaver, Special Adviser to Australia’s Cyber Ambassador and Head of Delegation on UN Cyber Processes,
Harry Aitken, Assistant Director, International Law Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT),
Tess Kluckow, Senior Legal Officer, Office of International Law, Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), and
Wing Commander Craig Deveney, Deputy Director, Operations and International Law Military Branch (Defence Legal).
The UN Human Rights Council faces a critical phase in its development. Between 2021 and 2026, the Assembly is due to review its status, with a view to determining, to quote Kofi Annan at its inauguration in 2006, whether its work has “so clearly established [its] authority that there would be a general will to amend the Charter, and to elevate it to the status of a Principal Organ of the United Nations”.
A new book by former Secretary to the UN Commission on Human Rights John Pace is intended to aid the process of review by furnishing, in one volume, the entire record of the Commission and the Council since the inception of UN work in human rights in 1946. The UN Commission on Human Rights: ‘A Very Great Enterprise’ was published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
In the course of a career spanning more than 50 years in the field of human rights, John Pace has worked in a wide range of human rights activities at the international and regional level. He has headed several sectors of the human rights programme and was Secretary to the Commission on Human Rights (1978 to 1994) and Coordinator of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights (1991 to 1993). He has a long association with UNSW, where he has taught and headed the Australian Centre for Human Rights in the early 2000s. He is currently Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Law and Justice and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Diplomacy Training Programme.
Former High Court Justice the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG and Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW and Professor of Law Megan Davis will join the author in conversation about his new book, moderated by Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute Professor Justine Nolan.
This event will be held online on 2 June 2021 at 9:00 am to 10:00 am CEST. Registration for this event is via Eventbrite and is free to all attendees. Event attendees are eligible for a 30% discount on purchase of the book.
This event is co-hosted by the Australian Human Rights Institute and the International Law Association Australia.
The International Law Association (Australian Branch) is hosting an end of year event featuring Professor Philippa Webb, King’s College London on the following topic: Swaying or straying? Australia’s influence on freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial in international law.
Philippa Webb is Professor of Public International Law at King’s College London. She joined The Dickson Poon School of Law in 2012 after a decade in international legal practice. She was previously visiting Assistant Professor in the Advanced LLM Programme at Leiden University (2009-2011). She has been Visiting Professor at Université Paris X Nanterre, ESADE Law School and Pepperdine University’s London programme.
In recent studies of geopolitical influence, Australia has been labelled a ‘hemispheric power’, more influential than India and Russia. There is also a long held view that Australia is a ‘middle power’ than can ‘punch above our weight’. By focusing on Australia’s influence on two critical protections – freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial – I will examine whether Australia is shaping international law (swaying) or forging its own, potentially violative path (straying). I will distil some of the key debates in international law and identify Australia’s contribution to the law through its state practice and the jurisprudence of international human rights bodies.
The event will be held on Wednesday 2 December 2020 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM CET via Zoom and is free of charge. Registration is essential and may be done through this link.
ACICA is pleased to present Australian Arbitration Week 2020 (AAW 2020) in the week of 12 October 2020. A full Calendar of Events is now available on the AAW website, which will be kept updated as event information is released.
ACICA, together with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia (CIArb Australia), will launch AAW2020 with Australia’s premier international arbitration event, the 2020 International Arbitration Conference featuring a line-up of speakers from across Australia and around the world. This year the conference will be offered virtually and is open to registrants around the globe. Program and speaker information is available to view on the website.
The theme for this year’s International Arbitration Conference is Bridging the Distance: Arbitration in the New Normal. This one day program will offer virtual presentations on topics including:
Advocacy in the Virtual Environment;
Technology as an Enabler in International Arbitration;
The Future of Investor-State Dispute Resolution;
Around the Globe in 60 Minutes;
Mega Projects in the New Normal;
Is Third Party Funding Changing International Arbitration?; and
On 25 June 2020, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) will be hosting the fourth of its series of Zoom seminars on COVID-19, following the first seminar in April on COVID-19 and public international law, the second seminar in May on COVID-19 and private international law and the third seminar earlier this month on COVID-19 and refugee law. Previous seminars have recordings posted on the ILA (Australian Branch)’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
The seminar will be cohosted by the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney.
This seminar will feature presentations by Louise Chappell, Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute and Elaine Pearson, Australian Director at Human Rights Watch and Advisory Committee Member at the Australian Human Rights Institute. Louise Chappell will address the human rights implications of Australia’s response to COVID-19 and consider how our international obligations are being upheld or undermined during the pandemic. Elaine Pearson will be speaking on the human rights impacts of the COVID-19 response, especially in Asia, and how some authoritarian-leaning governments are exploiting the pandemic to tighten their grip on power.
On 4 June 2020, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) will be hosting the third of its series of Zoom seminars on COVID-19, following the first seminar in April on COVID-19 and public international law and the second seminar in May on COVID-19 and private international law. Previous seminars have recordings posted on the ILA (Australian Branch)’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Details on future events will follow.
The seminar will be cohosted by the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney.
This seminar will feature presentations by Scientia Professor Jane McAdam, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney and Assistant Secretary-General Gillian Triggs UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. Professor McAdam will address the differential impact of the pandemic on displaced people, showcasing the Kaldor Centre’s blog, COVID-19 Watch, and will also consider the twin ‘crises’ of COVID-19 and climate change on mobility in our region. Assistant Secretary-General Triggs will reflect on the following: as we look forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, COVID-19 has undermined the fundamental norms of human rights and refugee law as almost no other crisis has done. Over 160 states have closed their borders and suspended or restricted access to asylum and many have pushed back those seeking protection, risking refoulement. Once the virus subsides, the longer-term challenges are to ensure that regressive laws are not ‘baked in’ and that the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on the most vulnerable people are addressed.
On 14 May 2020, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) will be hosting the second of its series of Zoom seminars on COVID-19, following the first seminar in April on COVID-19 and public international law.
This seminar will feature Associate Professor Jeanne Huang, University of Sydney Law School and Member of the International Law Association (Australian Branch), who will be speaking on collecting evidence abroad by video link under the Hague Evidence Convention and/or domestic laws, and Professor Vivienne Bath, University of Sydney Law School, who will be speaking on private international law, mandatory rules and frustration of contract/force majeure (with particular application to China and Chinese contracts).
Each presentation will be approximately 10 mins, allowing 15-20 mins for responses to questions via the Zoom chat function.
The seminar will be held on Thursday 14 May 2020 from 5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Sydney time (GMT+10). The seminar will be open to members and non-members. To attend, you must RSVP here by Wednesday 13 May 2020 at 5:00 pm Sydney time (GMT+10). The meeting link will be sent through on Thursday morning prior to the seminar.
Subsequent seminars being planned for this series include COVID-19 and international commercial arbitration, human rights, and refugees. Details will follow!
Next week, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) will be hosting the first of a series of Zoom seminars on COVID-19.
This seminar will feature Dr Christopher Ward SC, 6 St James Hall Chambers and President of the International Law Association and Professor Natalie Klein, UNSW Faculty of Law and President of the International Law Association (Australian Branch) speaking on the role of the World Health Organisation, China’s compliance and the international law relating to cruise ships and their passengers.
The seminar will be held on Thursday 23 April 2020 from 5:00 pm to 5:40 pm Sydney time (GMT+10). The seminar will be open to members and non-members. To attend, you must RSVP here by Wednesday 22 April 2020 at 5:00 pm Sydney time (GMT+10). Please see the flyer below for more details.
This is a reminder to readers of the ILA Reporter that the deadline for abstracts for papers and posters for the International Law Association’s 79th Biennual Conference to be held in Kyoto, Japan from 23 August 2020 to 27 August 2020 is 20 February 2020.
The theme of the Conference is ‘Bridging for the Future’. Papers may be submitted on any area of public or private international law, preferably on a topic related to the main theme. The Conference seeks to bridge the past, present and future, and connect the East, West, North and South, with a view to enhancing mutual understanding on diverse values, cultures and religions, and fostering new ideas to tackle global issues such as humanitarian crisis, economic polarisation and environmental challenges.
The Conference will also hold a poster session which provides early career scholars, including PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, with an opportunity to present their research activities as a poster at the Conference. There will then be opportunities during the Conference for poster-presenters to explain their research and participate in discussions with attendees. Posters may be submitted on any area of public or private international law, preferably on a topic related to the main theme.
The program will be finalised later this year but at present, includes panels on inter-State litigation and international trade law; the law of the sea; new and emerging areas like space law, the international law of the Arctic and the law of cyberspace; and a special panel on Asian Judges at the World Court in honour of Judge Mineitciro Adatci.
For more details, contact the Conference organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Conference website at http://ila2020kyoto.org/panelposter.html.
Last week, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) held the ILA (AB)’s first event of 2020, a breakfast seminar at Marque Lawyers in Sydney.
The seminar featured a presentation entitled ‘Environmental Degradation and Climate Change as Serious Threats to the Enjoyment of human Rights: Recent Developments within the UN Human Rights Committee’ by guest speaker Vasilka Sancin, Head of the Department of International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Professor Sancin is also a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and the National Inter-Ministerial Commission for Human Rights, Inter-Governmental Working Group on International Humanitarian Law and the Strategic Council of the Slovene Minister of Foreign Affairs.
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