UNCCA Annual May Seminar – Presentation Videos

UNCCA is proud to share a series of recordings of presentations from its latest Annual May Seminar, which took place on May 24 at the University of Canberra this year.

These recordings are now being made available to the public in order to promote awareness on key topics relevant to the international law landscape. UNCCA further hopes these videos will prove beneficial in providing those that were unable to attend the Seminar with insight into the processes and quality of the annual event. We hope to see you at next year’s Annual May Seminar.

Opening Address by The Hon Justice Neil McKerracher


Keynote Address by the Hon Justice Sarah Derrington


Panel 1 – A Pre-Launch Discussion of the Joint UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT and HCHH Legal Guide on International Commercial Contracts


Panel 2 – Correlations Between the Electronic Commerce Convention, the CISG, and the TTP Agreement


Panel 3 – Current Developments in ISDS (with a Special Focus on Working Group III)


Panel 4 – Enforcement of International Mediated Settlement Agreements, with a Special Focus on Working Group II’s work on its Preparation of a new Convention and a Revised Model Law


Closing Address by Dr Dalma Demeter, Featuring Comments by Tim Castle and Bruce Whittaker


UNCCA is proud to support UNCITRAL-RCAP in advertising its call for prospective interns with the Centre in Incheon, South Korea.

The internships at UNCITRAL-RCAP are open for application at the United Nations Careers Portal (Job Opening Number: 97934 / Duty Station: Incheon City, Republic of Korea).

The internship positions are for a minimum duration of two months and a maximum duration of six months, with various starting dates within the period of 1 October 2018 – 31 March 2019.

Applicants for the internship must, at the time of application, meet one of the following requirements:

(a) Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);

(b) Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);

(c) Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.

The internship will be unpaid and candidates will have to bear all costs related to travel, insurance, accommodation and living expenses. Visit the United Nations’ Careers Portal for the job description, requirements and other details.

Interested applicants must apply through Inspira, UN’s online employment application system.

The online application system for this job opportunity is available 24 hours a day until 29 June 2018, 11:59 p.m. (New York time).

Please be advised that due to the high volume of applications, UNCITRAL-RCAP are only able to contact shortlisted candidates via email.

UNCITRAL Working Group I: Personal Experience by James Keir


It was one of those ‘pinch me moments’ wandering down the streets of New York into the United Nations Secretariat Building as a delegate to an international trade law conference. While the 30th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group I (Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) did not involve wholesale legal discussions, it was absolutely critical to the continued existence of the Working Group and an absolute privilege to attend- as part of the LAWASIA delegation and the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA).

As a student with an interest in corporate and commercial law, Working Group I was well suited to my future career ambitions. Listening in on the discussions, I gained a fantastic insight into international diplomacy, the negotiations that underpin international law making and the process by which delegates from different legal traditions determine international best practice. There was also time for diplomacy of my own, with the opportunity to meet the incredibly gracious and welcoming students of the European Law Students Association (ELSA) and delegates from all over the world. The Canadian and Israeli delegations were especially generous with their time and expertise.

The spirit of diplomacy and compromise was critical to the progress achieved by the Working Group in this session. There was tremendous pressure to settle and submit the draft legislative guide (to the UNCITRAL Commission for adoption) and you could feel the urgency in the room. With tight time constraints imposed by the translators (who were forced to work very hard to keep up with the Spanish language speaking delegations), tensions were high and the Chairperson was forced to keep a firm check on issues that had been debated in previous sessions. In the midst of a particularly passionate debate on the role of notaries in the business registration process, the Chairperson (with typical good humour) was forced to ‘postpone’ the comments of the Council of the Notariats of the EU (CNUE). However, in line with the inclusive spirit fostered by UNCITRAL, the CNUE was given the opportunity to speak the very next day (despite the need to finalize the draft and the minutes of the meeting). This chain of events was emblematic of the Working Group session.

Aside from the formal sessions, I loved the opportunity to experience all that the United Nations had to offer. We were lucky enough to attend the Working Group sessions at the same time as meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women. Over 6,000 women descended on the United Nations Secretariat Building and fostered an energy and purpose that permeated throughout the building.

Having now moved past the administratively difficult (and at times drawn-out) discussions on business registration, this Working Group can pursue its true mandate- the United Nations Limited Liability Organisation. This was an experience I will not forget and one I would recommend to anyone!

James Keir

11 April 2018


UNCCA Annual May Seminar

UNCCA’s Annual May Seminar is fast approaching! The Annual May seminar is a flagship event addressing current topics in the development of international trade law. It will take place in Canberra on Friday 25 May this year.

Two sessions and four expert panels are planned for the day. The Seminar is a rare opportunity to hear from academics, legal professionals and government representatives on issues from the fields of contract law and electronic commerce, and areas of dispute resolution including both private and state entities.

Join us for a full day of expert presentations and mind-provoking discussion, combined with networking.

Tickets are currently available at a variety of prices. To purchase your tickets, please click here.

New Instruments on Settlement Agreements from UNCITRAL Working Group II

In latest developments, UNCITRAL Working Group II has announced its completion of work on the preparation of a draft convention and a draft amended Model Law on international settlement agreements resulting from mediation.

Both draft instruments will be considered for finalization by the Commission at its upcoming session in New York (25 June -13 July 2018).

For more information, please refer to Working Group II’s latest General Assembly records, accessible here.

#UnitedAgainstCorruption – UNCITRAL supports International Anti-Corruption Day

On 9 December 2017, UNCITRAL marked International Anti-Corruption Day by promoting its UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement Promotion.

See the Call2Action from the Regional Centre:

To mark International Anti-Corruption Day (http://www.anticorruptionday.org/) on 9 December 2017, as designated by the UN General Assembly, UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and Pacific issues a Call2Action. We encourage you to promote the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement Promotion by sharing the attached visual resources in your social media platforms with hashtags #uncitralmlpp #UnitedAgainstCorruption.
The 2017 joint international campaign focuses on corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the slogan ‘United Against Corruption’, UNCITRAL-RCAP joins the 2017 joint international campaign and call on people to jointly take action by changing their attitudes towards this crime.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in 2005, played a significant role in the further development of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement (UNCITRAL Model Law). The UNCITRAL Model Law was specifically designed to implement the procurement-related provisions in UNCAC, and is being used as a template by numerous governments around the world for shaping national public procurement legislation.
The Model Law has also been prepared with a view to supporting the harmonisation of international standards in public procurement, and takes account of the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, the European Union Directives (on procurement and remedies) and the procurement rules of the World Bank and other IFIs, such as the Asian Development Bank.

For more information about the Model Law please check our website: http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/uncitral_texts/procurement_infrastructure/2011Model.html.
2017 UN Anti Corruption Day (EN).jpg

50 Years of UNCITRAL: UNCCA United Nations Day National Lecture Series

UNCCA held its first annual UN Day Lecture Series around Australia in October, November and December 2017.

A copy of the Lecture, delivered by UNCCA Chair, Tim D. Castle is available here.

The Lecture was held in the following venues with distinguished chairs and commentators, some of whom have produced written commentaries which are available by following the links.

Adelaide – Federal Court (17.10.17), Chair Besanko J, Commentator Hon Paul Finn.

Perth – Federal Court (18.10.17), Chair McKerracher J, Commentator, Professor Camilla Baasch Andersen.

Brisbane – Federal Court (23.101.7), Chair Greenwood J, Commentator, Professor Khory McCormick.

Melbourne – Corrs Chambers Westgarth (24.10.17), Chair Bronwyn Lincoln, Commentator Croft J; available here.

Canberra – University of Canberra (01.11.17), Chair Professor Lawrence Pratchett, Commentator Ian Govey AM; available here.

Sydney – Federal Court (05.12.17), Chair Chrissa Loukas SC, Commentator Justice Steven Rares.

UNCCA looks forward to making this an annual event, building on the success of this year’s lecture series.

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Hon Bob Ellicott AC QC attends the UN Day Sydney lecture

By Tim Castle:

Inspiring to hear Hon Bob Ellicott QC at my last UN Day lecture in Sydney last night. Bob was Australia’s delegate to UNCITRAL as Solicitor-General in 1970, three years after it was founded. Even then he said he was struck by how this new body was based on a search for “the commonality of principles that bring people together – fairness, relevance, equity and integrity”. Thanks to all who attended these talks around Australia over the last month, and last night to Chair Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson SC and commentator Justice Steven Rares.

Pictured below: L to R – Chrissa Loukas, Justice Steven Rares, Hon Bob Ellicott AC QC, Tim Castle.


Call for comments: Draft model law on recognition of cross-border insolvency related judgments

The UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA) is monitoring the progress of the work being undertaken by UNCITRAL’s Working Group V – Insolvency.

WGV last met in New York in May 2017. It has reached the stage where it has a draft document on the recognition of foreign insolvency related judgments; see:

Draft model law on recognition of cross-border insolvency judgments – UNCITRAL – Oct 2017

That draft is being further refined and perhaps completed at WGV’s next meeting in Vienna from 18-22 December 2017.

Members of UNCCA are reviewing the documents.

Comments on it from anyone interested may be directed to:

Michael Murray
Co-ordinator for WGV, UNCCA
e: michael@murrayslegal.com.au
m: 0402 248 353