ILA Update: Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) and the Australian Association of International Affairs are delighted to announce that Nicole Sims, the 2020 Peter Nygh Hague Conference Intern, has been appointed Legal Officer at The Hague Conference on Private International Law for a period of 12 months. 

Nicole will commence work as Legal Officer in July 2020 after completing her internship.  After spending a large part of her internship working from her home in The Hague due to COVID-19, Nicole is back in The Hague Conference office and is looking forward to having a chance to stay in the Hague and have ‘the proper experience’.  She will be working mostly with previous Peter Nygh Hague Conference Intern, Brody Warren, on a portfolio related to legal cooperation, litigation, international commercial law and family law.  Nicole was appointed as Legal Officer following a competitive interview process and her selection reflects her excellent work as the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Intern.

Ms. Sins, pictured at The Hague Conference on Private International Law

In taking this position Nicole follows in the footsteps of previous Peter Nygh Hague Conference Interns, Alexander Kunzelmann and Brody Warren, who were appointed Legal Officers at the Hague Conference after completing their internships.  Brody has been promoted to Attaché to the Secretary General and Senior Legal Officer at the Hague Conference and we congratulate him on his promotion.

The Nygh Hague Conference Internship award supports a postgraduate student or graduate of an Australian law school to undertake an internship with The Hague Conference in the Netherlands by providing funds to cover the cost of travel to the Netherlands and a contribution towards living expenses. It provides the intern with the opportunity to work with some of the leading private international law practitioners in the world.

The Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship was established in memory of the late Hon Dr Peter Nygh AM, a leading international lawyer and former judge of the Family Court of Australia. Dr Nygh began his 25 year association with The Hague Conference as a member of Australia’s first delegation in 1975. During this time, Dr Nygh helped to draft the Convention on the Celebration and Recognition of the Validity of Marriages as well as the Convention on the Law Applicable to Matrimonial Property Regimes, work which contributed to his appointment to the Family Court of Australia. After his retirement from the bench, Dr Nygh returned to The Hague Conference, and between 1994 and his death in 2002 he contributed in many ways, including serving as a co-rapporteur on The Hague ‘judgments project’ from 1996 and representing Australia in the negotiations that led to the 1996 Child Protection Convention. In his later years Dr Nygh spent extended periods in The Hague without remuneration or payment of his expenses, yet his work did not go unrecognised. He was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government as well as the Order of Australia, partly in recognition of his outstanding and longstanding contribution to private international law, and in particular his representation of Australia at The Hague Conference.

COVID-19 restrictions permitting, we hope to send an intern to the Hague again in 2021. Applications for the 2021 Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship close on 30 September 2020. For more details, visit the dedicated pages of the International Law Association (Australian Branch) or the Australian Institute of International Affairs.