Book Review: ‘China and the International E-commerce and Digital Trade Law’– David Markus

This is a review of Dr. Jie (Jeanne) Huang’s China and the International E-commerce and Digital Trade Law: the case of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (University of International Business and Trade Press, August 2022, Beijing China, ISBN: 9787566323989, 262,000 words). Dr Huang is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Law School, specializing in conflict of laws and digital trade. She is the Co-chair of the American Society of International Law Private International Law Interest Group and Co-Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the Sydney Law School. 

Dr Huang’s book, ‘China and the International E-commerce and Digital Trade Law: the case of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership’ is invaluable to stakeholders who are interested in E-commerce and Digital Trade (EDT) with China.  It is also a very useful resource for diplomats and delegations involved in free trade negotiations as it simplifies the four key areas where the PRC has provided simplification of its national and provincial frameworks to assist in navigating complex rules. 

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Events and Opportunities Update: March 2023

Call for Submissions, International Law Weekend, 17 April 2023

International Law Weekend 2023, the American Branch’s annual conference and the premier international law event of the fall season, is scheduled for 19 October to 21 October 2023 in New York City. The American Branch is pleased to invite other ILA Branches and their members to submit panel proposals for inclusion in the conference program by the deadline of 17 April 2023

The theme of ILW 2023 is Beyond International Law. More information and instructions on submitting a panel proposal is available.

International Law Association Webinar on the Ocean, 25 April 2023

This is the 9th of a series of webinars scheduled to take place throughout 2023 to mark the 150th anniversary of the International Law Association. This webinar will discuss the Ocean White Paper, is chaired by Eden Charles, Deputy Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations and features 12 speakers with diverse backgrounds and expertise, including ILA (Australian Branch) President Professor Natalie Klein (UNSW Sydney). It will be an opportunity to understand the main drivers of ocean change between now and 2050 and to consider potential solutions, both from the regulatory, ocean governance and management perspectives. The event is to be held online on 25 April 2023 at 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CET. Registration is essential. The full list of webinars is available on the ADI-ILA 150 website.

Call for Expressions of Interest, Early Career International Lawyers Panel Presentations, 28 April 2023

The ILA (AB) is planning to host several panel presentations throughout 2023 highlighting the work or research of early career international lawyers. The aim is to provide a platform for early career international lawyers to showcase a current project and receive feedback on their work. This opportunity is open to all early career international lawyers (i.e. with no more than five years of experience working in international law practice or academia, or current postgraduate student), and priority will be accorded to members of the ILA (AB). Please submit your EoI (consisting of the title of the paper, 200 word abstract and CV) to [email protected] by 28 April 2023. Please advise in your EoI if you have definite restrictions on your availability for the presentation.

International Law Association Symposium, 18-20 June 2023

The symposium for the 150th anniversary of the International Law Association (ILA) will be held between 18 and 20 June 2023, in a hybrid format in Paris and online. The Symposium will be hosted at Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, Maison internationale, 17 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, and the program for the Symposium features an Opening Ceremony, 16 different panels, a Dinner and a Members’ Meeting. Topics to be explored include the relationship between hard law and soft law, businesses as international law actors, cooperation, due diligence, mediation, sanctions and immunities. Full details and registration is available on the ADI-ILA 150 website. Early bird rates are available until 31 March 2023.

Call for Papers, German Yearbook of International Law, 1 August 2023

The German Yearbook of International Law is Germany’s oldest yearbook in the field of public international law. The Editors welcome submissions for volume 66 (2023) of the GYIL. Papers should be 10,000-12,500 words inclusive of footnotes and must conform with the house style guide of the GYIL. Submissions, including a brief abstract, statement of affiliation, and confirmation of exclusive submission, should be sent by 1 August 2023 to the Assistant Editor of the GYIL via e-mail: [email protected] More information can be found at and

Call for Papers, RUMLAE CYBERCON 23, 1 June 2023

The Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE) at the University of Adelaide is inviting abstracts on the topic of ‘Cyber Conflict and Legal Frameworks’ to be presented at a conference hosted at the University of Adelaide on 4-5 September 2023.

Abstracts of 300‐600 words should be submitted, together with a 300-word biographical note on the author(s), by 01 June 2023. Please send a submission in PDF or Word format stating ‘RUMLAE CYBERCON’ in the subject line to [email protected], or contact the same individual with any queries. Selected contributors will be notified by early June and asked to prepare 20-minute presentations for the workshop, with the intention is that these presentations will be developed into Chapters in an edited collection with Brill Nijhoff.

Congratulations to Australia’s Jessup Teams!

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) (ILA (AB)) and the ILA Reporter would like to extend its congratulations to all three of the teams which will be representing Australia at the International Rounds of the 2023 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC in April!

The three teams advancing are, in first place Macquarie University, in second place Bond University and in third place The University of Queensland. The ILA (AB) commends all the participants in this year’s Jessup Moot on their hard work, and wishes the advancing teams good luck in representing Australia at the International Rounds. Past President of the ILA and ILA (AB) Dr Christopher Ward SC (6 St James Hall Chambers) was present at the 2023 Australian Rounds to present Macquarie University with the Harold Snelling Prize for the members of the winning team, as well as to judge the Plate Final between the University of Adelaide and The University of Queensland to determine the third place team.

The judging panel for the Plate Final comprising Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson (Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory), Professor Tim Stephens (University of Sydney) and Dr Ward SC,
with the teams and faculty advisors representing the University of Adelaide and The University of Queensland

The Inflows of Illegal Maritime Arrivals amidst the Financial Crisis of Sri Lanka: Analysing the Loopholes in the Protection Mechanisms of Australia – D.G. Niruka Sanjeewani


Illicit boat entry from Sri Lanka (SL) to Australia is not a new phenomenon, as it was highly prevalent before the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 and in the immediate aftermath. SL was among the top four source countries from which illegal attempts to enter Australia had been reported by 2012. 736 Sri Lankan boat migrants arrived in Australia at the end of the war. Between  2011 and 2012,  825 cases of  illegal attempts were reported. Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMA)s are unauthorised people who enter a country by unseaworthy boats. Even though border security measures to prevent this phenomenon were adopted by the two countries, a sudden resurgence has become evident due to the ongoing financial crisis of the country. More than 1,000 Sri Lankan people attempted to enter Australia by boats this year. According to the Australian Border Force (ABF), the highest number of boat entries in a single month was reported in June.  

SL is currently undergoing the worst economic crisis that the country has experienced since its independence. This unprecedented economic turmoil was highly backed by the economic mismanagement of the country’s leadership that caused the shortage of foreign exchange, fuel, electricity, medicine and inflation, followed by the high price factor. Since this situation has affected persons’ livelihoods, many people began to leave the country to meet their necessities in countries like Australia. These activities are being taken place outside the regulatory standards of migration, which are highly intertwined with people smuggling. The Protocol against the Smuggling defines smuggling as ‘to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefits, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident.’ Routes of people smugglers frequently start from Negombo in the west of SL to Batticaloa and Trincomalee in the East; from Galle, Mirrissa and Hambantota in the South to Point Pedro in the North in SL. Importantly, the criminalisation of people smuggling invokes a criminal perspective to this humanitarian issue. 

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Old decisions for the modern age: sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas and evidentiary issues in cyberspace (Part 2) – Angus Fraser

This is Part 2 of 2 of an article exploring State responsibility for cyberattacks based on the sic utere maxim. Part 1 set out the evidentiary difficulties and principles relevant to the topic. Part 2 continues the analysis in Part 1 by considering how the principles described in that Part might apply to reported cyberattacks on Optus and the Australian parliament, including what might be forensically necessary to establish a claim based on a breach of the sic utere maxim in those contexts. 

As set out in Part 1 of this article, on 22 September 2022, Optus, an Australian telecommunications company, was the subject of a massive data breach which affected over 9 million of its customers. While the attack on Optus was likely conducted by a lone actor, other incidents, like a cyberattack on the Australian Parliament’s computer systems, are likely sponsored or conducted by other States.  

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Old decisions for the modern age: sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas and evidentiary issues in cyberspace (Part 1) – Angus Fraser

This article considers how States affected by malicious cyber activity may seek a remedy before international tribunals in circumstances where they cannot convincingly identify the specific perpetrator. It reviews relevant evidentiary difficulties, considers cases regarding the failure of States to exercise due diligence to prevent inter-State harm, and proposes that States affected by malicious cyber activity may argue a breach of the maxim sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas: in essence, that a State of origin allowed its territory or jurisdiction to be used contrary to the rights of another State.  

This is Part 1 of 2 of an article exploring State responsibility for cyberattacks based on the sic utere maxim. Part 1 sets out the evidentiary difficulties and principles relevant to the topic. Part 2 explores how the principles described in Part 1 might apply in the context of specific case examples, including what might be forensically necessary to establish a claim based on a breach of the maxim. 

On 22 September 2022, Optus, an Australian telecommunications company, was the subject of a massive data breach which affected over 9 million of its customers. Unfortunately, the Optus breach is only the latest major example of an increasing list of malicious cyber activity affecting States, companies, and individuals. The recent Medibank cyberattack and publication of individuals’ private health information is another pertinent example. While the attack on Optus was likely conducted by a lone actor, other incidents, like a cyberattack on the Australian Parliament’s computer systems, are likely sponsored or conducted by other States. But what recourse under international law does Australia have in either scenario?  

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H.F. and Others v France: The Protection Implications of A Restrictive Approach to Jurisdiction – Gillian Kane

As the topic of repatriation from Syria continues to be debated by States within and beyond Europe, this article highlights the approach of the European Court of Human Rights’ Grand Chamber in H.F. and Others v France.

On 14 September 2022, the European Court of Human Rights’ Grand Chamber handed down a highly anticipated judgment, in the case of H.F. and Others v France. The applicants brought the case on behalf of their – French national – children and grandchildren, who were held in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria and wished to return to France. The applicants’ daughters, ‘L’ and ‘M’ had travelled to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) controlled territory in 2014 and 2015 respectively to be with their partners. Both subsequently had children and ended up in al-Hol camp, following the death or imprisonment of their partners. The applicants went on to initiate repatriation proceedings on behalf of their families. However, these applications were subsequently dismissed. Consequently, the applicants alleged – before the ECtHR – that France’s ‘refusal…to repatriate their daughters and grandchildren’ constituted a breach of: 

–    Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) 

–    Article 3(2) of ECHR Protocol 4  (right to enter one’s own State), together with ECHR Articles 8 (right to private and family life) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).

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Reviewing a Convention on Crimes Against Humanity – Ankit Malhotra


In 2014, the International Law Commission (ILC) began drafting articles for a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, alluding to “a global convention on crimes against humanity”. While the consideration for this is well-founded, one is compelled to consider the already existing international law on crimes against humanity as formulated under the Rome Statute (Article 7). One goal of the ILC in its crimes against humanity convention was to produce a balanced text that would inspire States to establish improved national laws and national jurisdiction regarding crimes against humanity (and develop inter-State collaboration on the subject), while respecting certain boundaries on what States would likely accept in a new convention. From one perspective, the ILC could have adopted a far-reaching treaty language crammed with “wish list” items to describe highly progressive legal policy, but States likely wouldn’t adopt such an instrument. 

It is general consensus that crimes against humanity have attracted sufficient adherence to by States (opinio juris and State Practice) such that they have crystalised as customary international law as well as being contained in the Rome Statute. However, Sean Murphy highlights many States that will not prosecute or extradite alleged perpetrators solely based on customary international law. Rather, they will insist upon having a national statute to prosecute. To bridge this lacuna of international and national law, a crimes against humanity convention will oblige States to codify the crime within their national law, thus enabling themselves to prosecute criminals. In creating its draft articles on the convention on crimes against humanity, the ILC may have merely adopted “guidelines,” “principles,” or “conclusions” that would not bind States to legal restrictions. Instead of a legally binding treaty, the ILC aimed for practical, achievable, and valuable suggested articles. 

According to Murphy, unless and until a convention on crimes against humanity is created, States will not take cognisance of their actions. Murphy argues that States must create a treaty and not just a “draft” like the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts of 2001. This would be more conducive for States to adopt domestic legislation based on an international convention on crimes against humanity. 

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Call for Expressions of Interest: ILA Committees, 14 October 2022

The Executive Council of the International Law Association establishes Committees to undertake research and report on carefully mandated areas of international law.  The International Law Association (Australian Branch) is currently accepting expressions of interest for two of these Committees: the International Tax Law Committee and the Committee on Enforcing the Rights of Children in Migration.

The International Tax Law Committee is chaired by Juliane Kokott (German Branch) and Pasquale Pistone (Austrian Branch). The Committee on Enforcing the Rights of Children in Migration will continue the work commenced by the Study Group on Cross-Border Violations of Children’s Rights. The Committee intends to publish a book focused specifically on the enforcement of the rights of children in migration and to develop a set of recommendations (best practices) for countries interacting with children in migration and will be chaired by Warren Binford (US Branch), Michael Garcia Bochenek (UK Branch) and Ann Skelton (South Africa Branch).

The Australian Branch is currently seeking expressions of interest in nomination for these Committees. Expressions of interest outlining your relevant expertise for the work of the Committee(s) and a full CV should be sent to [email protected] by 5pm (AEST) Friday 14 October 2022. Please note that only members of the Australian Branch are eligible for nomination. 

Events and Opportunities – September/October 2022


Australian Red Cross  

The Australian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Program is seeking an Advisory Committee Member with experience in the healthcare sector to support the Australian Red Cross’ work on promoting awareness about International Humanitarian Law within the Australian healthcare sector. More information here

Legal positions at UN agencies 

Various UN agencies are recruiting for legal officers in New York, Geneva and the Hague. More information here

Human Rights Watch 

The Alan R and Barbara D Finberg Fellowship is accepting applications for a one-year posting at Human Rights Watch in New York or Washington DC. This fellowship is open to candidates who hold an advanced (graduate) degree or have a degree granted by June 2023 in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide. More information here.  


Center for International Environmental Law  

The Center for International Environmental Law, based in Geneva, is seeking applications for its legal internship program. A monthly stipend is available. Deadline is 1 October 2022. More information here

UNIDROIT Internship and Research Programme

The UNIDROIT Scholarship, Internship and Research Programme is currently accepting applications for internships to be undertaken in 2023. Applications close on 30 September 2022 and are open to undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in private international law. More information here.


Call for papers, Cambridge International Law Journal 

The Cambridge International Law Journal (CILJ) is inviting submissions for volume 12(1) to be published in June 2023. The volume will include a special section on ‘Global Security Challenges and International Law’. Deadline for submissions is 30 October 2022 at 11:59 pm (BST). More information here.  

Call for Papers, 9th IUCN Frontiers in Environmental Law Colloquium 2023

The Australian Centre for Environmental Law (ACCEL) at The University of Sydney Law School is delighted to be hosting the 9th IUCN Frontiers in Environmental Law Colloquium 2023, to be held on 16-17 February 2023. The 2023 Colloquium will focus on the theme of ‘A Half Century of Environmental Law: Where to from Here?’ and will be held in person in Sydney. Abstracts are due on Monday 31 October 2022. Further details are available here.

PhD Opportunities 

Funded PhD opportunities available in the subject areas of feminist approaches to international law and current challenges to international humanitarian or criminal law at the University of Birmingham. More details here.  

Call for papers, 5th International Conference on the Right to Development  

The University of the Free State, in conjunction with the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and other universities, is seeking papers for an upcoming conference analysing the right to development and democracy in Africa. More information here and here


World Day Against the Death Penalty: The Fragility of Abolition in Asia and the Pacific, 10 October 2022 

The ANU College of Law, in partnership with the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial summary or arbitrary executions, EU Delegation of Australia, amongst others, is making the World Day Against the Death Penalty with a panel discussion on the continuing place of the death penalty and the launch of the special issue of the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. More information here

Women and International Law Conference, 13-14 October 2022 

The Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law is holding a discussion which brings together contributors to the upcoming Oxford Handbook on Women and International Law. The discussion will examine the role of women in international law and the impacts of international law on women through the lens of Feminist approaches to international law. Register by 7 October 2022. More information here

Nuremburg Forum “The International Criminal Court 2002-2022: A Court in Practice”, 13-15 October 2022 

The Nuremburg Principles Academy will hold a hybrid conference examining the achievements of the International Criminal Court in its first two decades. The programme and more details can be found here

Webinar on the Russia-Ukraine War: Contemporary Developments and Challenges, 17 October 2022

The Newcastle Centre for Law and Social Justice is hosting a webinar on the Russia-Ukraine War. Full details and registration is available here.

Looking Back to the Future in the Law of the Sea: UNCLOS III and the LOSC at 40, 25 October 2022 

The Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law’s Webinar Series is hosting a discussion of UNCLOS in light of its 40th anniversary. A link to register for this and other events in the Webinar Series can be found here