A student’s reflections on attending the 55th session of Working IV of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, New York, 2017

The law of international trade is of fundamental importance to any transaction carried out between entities existing within different countries. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) serves the purpose of working towards achieving cross-jurisdictional understanding and compatibility between the legal systems of different member states. This is an immense task…

There is something truly exciting about being part of the genesis of new principles of international trade law.  Attending Working Group IV of UNCITRAL allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for the complexities and processes involved in reaching multi-jurisdictional approval for a specific area of law. I am deeply thankful to Dr. Alan Davidson, the University of Queensland, and the UNCITRAL National Co-ordination Committee for Australia for allowing me this wonderful opportunity. I will look back on this experience with many fond memories for years to come.

Simon Brandis.

For more information on the UNLAWS program, contact Alan Davidson.


[Save the Date] 2nd UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Judicial Summit-Hong Kong 2017,16-19 October 2017

From the Regional Centre:

The UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific will host the 2nd UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Judicial Summit- Hong Kong 2017 from 16 to 19 October 2017, with the cooperation and support of the Department of Justice of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong, China), the Judiciary of Hong Kong, China, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the Asia Pacific Regional Office of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

Building on the success of the first Summit in 2015, the primary objective of this event is to continue enhancing international trade and development by way of capacity-building for the judiciaries in the Asia-Pacific, focusing on the interpretation and application of the UNCITRAL and other international instruments.

Please find attached the programme outline. We hope you will save the date in your calendar. Further information on registration will soon be made available at http://hkaweek.hkiac.org.


Third Annual UNCITRAL Seminar Underway

The Third Annual UNCITRAL Seminar is currently underway in Canberra. This morning has seen presentations by Tim Castle (UNCCA), Autumn O’Keeffe (AGD), and Andrew Walter (AGD). In Session 1, panelists are discussing the Conciliation Convention. For more information on the content of this Seminar, please follow our blog.


My experience as a Delegate representing LawAsia at the 55th Session of UNCITRAL Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce)

My experience as a Delegate representing LawAsia at the 55th Session of UNCITRAL Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce) – by Emma Page 

Last week I was fortunate to attend the 55th Session of UNCITRAL Working Group IV on Electronic Commerce at the United Nations Headquarters in New York with Dr Alan Davidson. The Session was held between 24-28 April 2017 and the Working Group initiated work on two new topics: Cloud Computing and Identity Management and Trust Services. As the discussion focused on foundational concepts, I was particularly fascinated by how different nations interacted and put forward examples relevant to the law in their respective countries. We were fortunate to meet Professor Giusella Finocchiaro, Chair of the Working Group and Luca Castellani, a Legal Officer of UNCITRAL and one of the Secretariats of the Working Group.

One fun fact I learnt about the UN while on the trip was that the UN is the only organisation permitted to issue postage stamps despite the fact it is not a country. I even had personalised stamps made as a unique keepsake!

Observing Working Group IV was an amazing opportunity and I am so grateful for the experience. I would like to thank Dr Davidson, UNCCA, LawAsia and the UQ Law School for affording me this incredible opportunity.

Emma Page is a Judge’s Associate with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General QLD


Two Weeks until the UNCITRAL Canberra Seminar: Join Us!

UNCCA is hosting the third annual UNCITRAL Seminar on 19 May 2017. There is no charge for attendance at the Seminar (with lunch also being provided). To register, please send an email to UNCCA’s Secretary, prishika.raj@gmail.com, with your name, contact details and organisation or university. Places are limited.

See the Seminar brochure: UNCCA Seminar 19 May Brochure

Message from the Chair of UNCCA

We look forward to welcoming you to the Third Annual UNCITRAL Seminar in Canberra on Friday 19 May 2017, and to join us for the Seminar dinner on Thursday 18 May.

Generously sponsored by the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), this is the first time this Seminar will be open to all members of the legal community interested in International Trade Law and the work of UNCITRAL.

Leading the program will be a Special Address from Andrew Walter, Assistant Secretary, Civil Law Unit, AGD, who has recently been appointed to a Senior Role at the Hague Conference (HCCH) as Chair of its Council of General Affairs and Policy. Mr Walter will be examining the impact of the HCCH on key aspects of Australian law.

The work of UNCITRAL itself goes from strength to strength. Each year our Seminar focuses on two of the six Working Group areas as well as an overview of key developments generally. This year the two focus areas are:

  • The Conciliation Convention being developed in Working Group II to provide a framework for enforcement of ADR outcomes similar to that provided by the New York Convention for international commercial arbitration.
  • The impact of UNCITRAL’s new Secured Transactions Model Law developed by Working Group VI and its implications for the PPSA interpretation and reform in Australia.

Our speakers include representatives of both Australia and UNCCA at the Working Group meetings, with commentary from senior government officials based in Canberra from AGD, DFAT and AFSA.

We will in addition feature a keynote address from Mr Joao Ribeiro, Head of UNCITRAL’s Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific on developments in the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis upon the adoption and implementation of existing UNCITRAL texts.

Please be quick to register to avoid disappointment. We have a room maximum of 80, and our previous two invitation-only Seminars have attracted over 40 participants each.

Our Seminar dinner is also a highlight each year, providing an opportunity to mix and network with our guests and speakers in a social setting.

My colleagues and I look forward very much to you joining us in May.

Tim D. Castle


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