Call for Applications: Nygh Internship, 30 January 2022

The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and the Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA (AB)) are pleased to present the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship. The award will support a post – graduate student or graduate of an Australian law school to undertake an internship with The Hague Conference on Private International Law (The Hague Conference) in the Netherlands by providing funds to cover the cost of travel to the Netherlands and a contribution towards living expenses. Applications for the 2022 Nygh Internship are now open. Please see below for more information about the award and how to apply.

The Internship

The award will provide a post-graduate student or graduate with the opportunity to work with some of the leading private international law practitioners in the world. With over 80 members (including the European Union) representing all major regions and legal systems, The Hague Conference is a global intergovernmental organisation. A melting pot of different legal traditions, The Hague Conference aims for the ‘progressive unification’ of the various State private international law rules. The work of The Hague Conference involves finding internationally agreed approaches to jurisdiction of courts, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of judgments. This is achieved through the development and servicing of multilateral legal conventions which respond to global needs in the areas of international commercial law and banking, international civil procedure, international protection of children, international family and family property relations, international legal co-operation and litigation as well as international judicial and administrative co-operation. Activities of The Hague Conference are coordinated by a multinational Secretariat – the Permanent Bureau – located in The Hague. The Conference’s working languages are English and French. The successful intern will work for 5 to 6 months under the direction of the Secretariat assisting with research, translation and preparation of meetings in accordance with the needs of the lawyers of the Permanent Bureau.

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Event: ILA (Australian Branch) AGM and End of Year Event, 1 December 2021

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) invites its members to its Annual General Meeting, to be held at 6:30 pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021 via Zoom.

The AGM will be followed at 7:00 pm by the End-of-Year Event, featuring a presentation by Emerita Professor Christine Chinkin, Chair of the International Law Association, on Women, Peace and Security: the Security Council Agenda and International Law.

Christine Chinkin, FBA is Emerita Professor of International Law, Professorial Research Fellow and Founding Director of the Centre of Women Peace & Security at LSE. Together with Hilary Charlesworth, she won the American Society of International Law, 2005 Goler T. Butcher Medal ‘for outstanding contributions tothe development or effective realization of international human rights law’. She is a L. Bates Lea Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She has held visiting appointments in Australia, the United States, Singapore and the People’s Republic of China. She was a member of the Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo for over six years and was Scientific Advisor to the Council of Europe’s Committee for the drafting of the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

The presentation is open to both members and non‑members. There is no cost to register for the event.

Registration is essential and via Eventbrite: RSVP for the AGM (members only) and/or End-of-Year event.

Event: International Investment Agreements and National Impacts, 7 October 2021

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) is pleased to announce its fourth in a series of online lunch-time panels showcasing the work of early career international lawyers.

This event follows the first panel on “Intersections of International Environmental Law with National Jurisdictions” on 22 July 2021, the second panel on “Armed Conflict, Technology and Human Rights” on 26 August 2021 and the third panel on “International Criminal Law: Practitioner Perspectives” on 16 September 2021. Recordings are made of these panels and will be made available in the members’ section of the ILA (AB)’s website in due course.

This fourth panel is focused on “International Investment Agreements and National Impacts” and features speakers Caitlyn McKenzie (ANU College of Law) presenting on ‘Improving access to Foreign Direct Investment for Pacific Island Countries: Pursuit of International Investment Agreements from a development perspective’ and Zhenyu (Zoe) Xiao (UNSW Law and Justice) speaking on ‘International law and domestic institutions: rethinking the evolution of China’s investor-state dispute settlement policymaking’. The event will be chaired by Associate Professor Jeanne Huang (University of Sydney Law School) and feature commentator Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha (UNSW Law and Justice).

The panel will be held online on Thursday 7 October 2021 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm AEST. Registration is free and through Eventbrite.

A flyer for this fourth panel is included below.

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Announcement of Brennan Prize Winner: Jack McNally, ‘Restrictions on the Freedom of Navigation in the Northern Sea Route: Implications for Arcticus Liberum’

The Australian Branch of the International Law Association is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Brennan Essay Prize in Public International Law. The Brennan Prize is named for Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE QBS QC, former Chief Justice of Australia and Patron of the Branch. Sir Gerard was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1981 and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the law in 1988.

The winner of the 2021 Brennan Prize is Jack McNally, for his paper ‘Restrictions on the Freedom of Navigation in the Northern Sea Route: Implications for Arcticus Liberum’. Mr McNally is a final year Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student at the University of New South Wales. He currently works as a Research Assistant at UNSW Law, where his research focusses on public international law, the law of the sea and international dispute settlement, and as a Law Clerk in the International Arbitration Group of King & Wood Mallesons. The Australian Branch of the International Law Association expresses its congratulations to Mr McNally on his successful entry.

Mr McNally

The abstract for the paper is included below:

The freedom of navigation is one of the fundamental principles of international order. However, as the effects of anthropogenic climate change grow greater and the extent of Arctic sea ice continues to decline, a question arises as to whether, and to what degree, the freedom of navigation applies in formerly ice-covered areas. This question is not an abstract one. Arctic States have asserted extensive sovereign rights over formerly ice-covered shipping routes, imposing restrictions on the freedom of navigation of both merchant vessels and warships. Whether these restrictions are valid impositions on the freedom of navigation is an unresolved question, complicated by the genuine interests of littoral States in the protection of the Arctic’s highly sensitive marine environment. If, however, these restrictions are acquiesced in by the international community, they may operate to restrict the freedom of navigation and diminish its content in formerly ice-covered areas. Accordingly, there is a need for States to strike a balance between permitting restrictions on the freedom of navigation that pursue environmental protection, while contesting those that exceed what is permitted under international law. This article seeks to provide the necessary legal framework to enable States to undertake that balancing exercise and to, in turn, ensure the Arctic remains mare liberum.

Announcement of Nygh Prize Winner: Michael Douglas, ‘Does Choice of Law Matter?’

The Australian Branch of the International Law Association is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Nygh Essay Prize in Private International Law. This prize is named in honour of the late Dr Peter Nygh AM, a leading Australian scholar of private international law and former President of the Branch. Dr Nygh was a judge of the Family Court of Australia, a member of Australia’s first delegation to, and played an integral role in, The Hague Conference on Private International Law and 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.

The winner of the 2021 Nygh Prize is Michael Douglas for his paper ‘Does Choice of Law Matter?’ Mr Douglas is completing his PhD in private international law at Sydney Law School. He works as an academic at UWA Law School and in a litigation firm in Perth. The Australian Branch of the International Law Association expresses its congratulations to Mr Douglas on his successful entry.

The abstract for the paper is included below:

We ought to rethink how we understand the conflict of laws in Australia with respect to forum statutes. Views which may be orthodox in conflict of laws scholarship no longer align to the proper treatment of forum statutes in cross-border civil litigation in Australian courts. Statutory interpretation is of primary importance in determining issues in cross-border litigation before Australian courts involving forum statutes. As most cases involve statutes, statutory interpretation is thus of primary importance to most cross-border litigation. This approach is statutist, in that, like the statutism of centuries ago, it favours interpretation as the method to determine issues of territorial scope of law. It also follows in the tradition of Currie’s governmental interest analysis in that it favours the interests of forum institutions in resolution of questions in cases with a foreign element. Choice of law, in the traditional sense of its traditional techniques, still matters. But statutory interpretation matters more in the actual life of the law. This ought to be embraced by scholars and teachers. Perhaps then the realm of the conflict of laws will be less dismal, less mysterious and more comprehensible to those who understand the law better than many of those in the ivory tower: actual lawyers.

Mr Douglas

Event: International Criminal Law: Practitioner Perspectives, 16 September 2021

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) is pleased to announce its third in a series of online lunch-time panels showcasing the work of early career international lawyers.

This event follows the first panel on “Intersections of International Environmental Law with National Jurisdictions” on 22 July 2021 and the second panel on “Armed Conflict, Technology and Human Rights” on 26 August 2021. Recordings are made of these panels and will be made available in the members’ section of the ILA (AB)’s website in due course.

This third panel is focused on “International Criminal Law: Practitioner Perspectives” and features speakers Pranamie Mandalawatta (Australian Red Cross) and Liam MacAndrews (Nyman Gibson Miralis Defence Lawyers) speaking on ‘Corporate Liability for War Crimes under Australian Law’ and Shannon Torrens presenting on ‘Defending A President: The Charles Taylor Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone’. The event will be chaired by Dr Chris Ward SC (St James Hall Chambers) and will feature commentator The Honourable Justice Mark Ierace (Supreme Court of New South Wales). The panel will be held online on Thursday 16 September 2021 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm AEST. Registration is free and through Eventbrite.

The final panel in this series will be held on 7 October and consist of an exploration of International Investment Law. It will feature Caitlyn McKenzie (ANU College of Law) presenting on ‘Improving access to Foreign Direct Investment for Pacific Island Countries: Pursuit of International Investment Agreements from a development perspective’ and Zhenyu (Zoe) Xiao (UNSW Law and Justice) speaking on ‘International law and domestic institutions: rethinking the evolution of China’s investor-state dispute settlement policymaking’. The event will be chaired by Associate Professor Jeanne Huang (University of Sydney Law School) and feature commentator Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha (UNSW Law and Justice).

A flyer for this third panel is included below.

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Call for Submissions: Australian International Law Journal

The Australian International Law Journal (AILJ), published by the International Law Association (Australian Branch), is calling for papers on topics of public or private international law for its forthcoming volume. 

Papers should range from between 6,000 and 12,000 words. Case notes (2,000-3,000 words) and book reviews (1,000 words) within the areas of public or private international law are also welcome. 

The AILJ offers established and developing scholars the opportunity to publish high quality refereed scholarship on topics of public and private international law. The ILA is a global organization, which plays a pre-eminent role in the progressive development of international law. From a modest beginning in 1983 as Australian International Law News, the AILJ has become a peer-reviewed law journal of international standing. 

Papers on any topic of public or private international law should be submitted by email to the Editor in Chief at a.cassimatis@law.uq.edu.au. The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2021. Accepted submissions will be published in Volume 28 of the AILJ. 

More information on the submission of articles, notes and reviews is available in the AILJ Guidelines for Authors. Further information on the Journal and how to subscribe is available on the ILA (AB)’s website.

Call for Applications: Assistant Editors and Co-Editor-in-Chief, ILA Reporter

The ILA Reporter is calling for applications for Assistant Editors and a Co-Editor-in-Chief. These Assistant Editors will work in collaboration with the current Assistant Editors and Editor-in-Chief of the ILA Reporter. Applications are due on 2 August 2021. 

What is the ILA Reporter?

The ILA Reporter 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, as well as publicising relevant events and opportunities for education to its audience.

What are the roles?

The role of the Assistant Editors is to support the Editors-in-Chief by commissioning, editing and publishing articles for the Blog. Assistant Editors are engaged on a voluntary basis and are required to source and edit at least one article per month. There are also opportunities for Assistant Editors to have their own articles published on the blog. The ILA Reporter is looking to recruit two Assistant Editors in this round of applications.

The Editors-in-Chief are responsible for reviewing submissions received from the readership and sourced by the Assistant Editors; finalising and publishing all pieces for the ILA Reporter; preparing bimonthly digests of articles, events and opportunities for the readership; managing the workload and activities of the Assistant Editors; and assisting the ILA (AB) with its activities. This open role is in addition to the existing Editor-in-Chief of the ILA Reporter.

These roles are a great opportunity for those looking to gain experience in the field of international law with a well-respected non-government organisation.

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Call for Papers: Volume 40 (2022) of the AYBIL

Volume 40 of the Australian Year Book of International Law will be dedicated to the memory of the late H.E. Judge James Crawford AC SC FBA. In addition to a long and distinguished career as an academic, practitioner, arbitrator, and judge, James was a friend and mentor to many. We hope that papers in this volume will reflect on some of his numerous contributions to the field of public international law, and particularly international law in Australia, by engaging with one or more of his varied roles.

The AYBIL welcomes paper proposals reflecting on James’ contributions to the field in such roles as:

  • Scholar;
  • Educator;
  • Role in institutional law reform and codification efforts (eg. Australian Law Reform Commission and the International Law Commission);
  • Legal Advisor;
  • Counsel (especially reflections on his oral or written advocacy);
  • Arbitrator; and,
  • Judge.

Abstracts of up to 500 words on any of these topics accompanied by a short 1-page CV should be sent to the Editors at aybil@anu.edu.au by 15 August 2021. Applicants will be notified of outcomes no later than 10 September 2021, and a virtual workshop to develop papers based on the accepted abstracts may be held in December 2021. The AYBIL anticipate final papers would need to be submitted no later than 15 February 2022 to meet a publishing deadline of June 2022.

You are also welcome to contact the Editors at any time on aybil@anu.edu.au to discuss your proposal or seek clarification regarding the Call for Papers.

Event: ‘Intersections of International Environmental Law with National Jurisdictions’, 22 July 2021

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) is pleased to announce its first in a series of online lunch-time panels showcasing the work of early career international lawyers.

The first panel will be on “Intersections of International Environmental Law with National Jurisdictions”. Speakers including Carina Bury of Universität Hamburg and Millicent McCreath of UNSW Law & Justice. Justice Nicola Pain at the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales will chair the panel, and Dr Emma Carmody at the Environmental Defenders Office and Legal Advisor to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands will serve as Commentator. The panel will be held online on 22 July 2021 at 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm AEST. Registration is through Eventbrite.

Future panels (with further details to be circulated) include ‘Emerging Topics in the Law of Armed Conflict’ (August 26), ‘International Criminal Law: Practitioner Perspectives’ (September 16) and ‘International Investment Law’ (October). A flyer is included below.

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