UNCITRAL co-hosts Seminar on ASEAN integration through the Harmonization of Commercial Laws [4-5 September 2017, Bangkok]

From the Regional Centre:

UNCITRAL RCAP, the Supreme Court of Thailand, ASEAN Law Association, the International Institute for Trade and Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Thailand Arbitration Centre are co-organising a two-days seminar entitled “One Step Closer : Promoting ASEAN integration through the Harmonization of Commercial Laws”. 

The seminar aims to raise awareness on the need for harmonization of commercial laws in ASEAN and provides a platform for fostering dialogue between public and private entities involved in cross-border trade.  The seminar identifies obstacles and the benefits of harmonization and discusses the priorities for harmonization, in particular on the legal framework for contracts, e-commerce and alternative dispute resolution.   

The Seminar will be relevant for public officials involving in trade and development, foreign affairs, judiciaries and other relevant public agencies, academics, research institutes and think tanks, private sector, other representatives from each ASEAN country.    

The Seminar will take place on 4 and 5 September 2017 at Arnoma Hotel, Bangkok.  

For more details please refer to the programme and flyer.   

CALL FOR APPLICANTS – UNLAWS: UNCCA Law-Student Attendance Working-Group Scheme

The UNCCA Law-Student Attendance Working-Group Scheme (UNLAWS) is an opportunity for a select number of law students to accompany Australian academics attending UNCITRAL Working Group meetings in Vienna or New York in 2018. UNLAWS is an initiative of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA).

The selection process for 2017 is complete. To date participating students have come from from the Law Schools of:

  • Curtin University
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Victoria Univeristy

About the UNCITRAL Working Groups

UNCITRAL is the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. A legal body with universal membership specialising in commercial law reform worldwide for over 40 years, UNCITRAL’s business is the modernisation and harmonisation of rules on international business.

The Commission has established six working groups to perform the substantive preparatory work on topics within the Commission’s programme of work. Each of the Working Groups is composed of all member States of the Commission. The Working Groups’ preparatory work includes, for example, preparing draft international conventions, model laws and uniform laws that relate to international business.


Participation in UNLAWS is open to all students enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws (or associated dual program), Master of Laws or postgraduate law program at an Australian law school.

Students who are offered participation in the Scheme must fund all of their own costs (including airfares, accommodation, meals, travel insurance and incidentals).

Application Procedure – 2018

Applications must be in writing and directed to the Convenor of the Scheme, Dr Alan Davidson of the University of Queensland. Please see below for further details of application requirements.

Students may indicate their preferences for up to three working groups. Decisions and offers of participation will be made by the UNCCA Board.

Application Deadline for 2018 New York Working Groups: 1 November 2017.

UNCITRAL Working Group Dates

Working Group I: Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

12-16 March 2018, New York

Tentative dates: 24-28 September 2018, Vienna

Working Group II: Dispute Settlement

5-9 February 2018, New York

Tentative dates:  10-14 September 2018, Vienna

Working Group III: Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform

23-27 April 2018, New York

Tentative dates: 8-12 October 2018, Vienna

Working Group IV: Electronic Commerce

16-20 April 2018, New York

Tentative dates: 19-23 November 2018, Vienna

Working Group V: Insolvency Law

7-11May 2018, New York

Tentative dates:  10-14 December 2018, Vienna

Working Group VI: Security Interests

30 April-4 May 2018, New York

Tentative dates: 26-30 November 2018, Vienna

Welfare and Safety

The welfare and safety of students involved is the responsibility of the individual participants. The success of the Scheme will depend upon a high standard of behaviour and courtesy being exhibited by participants.

UNCCA assumes no liability for any costs, expenses or liabilities arising from participation in the Scheme or attendance at a working group meeting. Successful participants will be required to have all appropriate passport, visa and travel insurance in place before leaving Australia.

Students receiving a position should make independent inquiries about the risks involved in overseas travel. This should include visiting Smartraveller for current information about risks overseas and how to prepare for overseas travel. Students should register with Smartraveller and subscribe to relevant travel advisories (http://smartraveller.gov.au/).


UNCCA’s mission is to promote Australia’s participation in UNCITRAL’s working groups and Australia’s involvement in the harmonisation of laws, to minimise transaction costs in international trade, as well as supporting developing nations in our region to participate in the expanding global economy through the adoption of uniform trade law texts of the type developed by UNCITRAL.

In 2012 the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) commissioned a report on strategic opportunities for increased participation by Australia in the work of UNCITRAL, in the development, adoption and implementation of uniform trade laws, both in Australia and in our region. UNCCA was established in 2014 as a result of consultations between Mr Tim Castle, the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Government and other stakeholders.

Expert members of UNCCA have been attending and contributing to the six Working Groups of UNCITRAL since 2013.


Applications should include the following:

  1. The applicant’s nomination of the working group or groups that the applicant wishes to attend (up to three preferences).
  2. Curriculum Vitae (1-5 pages).
  3. Statement of Interest (1-2 pages). Please clearly indicate any previous courses or experience which relate to the research area of the placement/s for which you are applying.
  4. No more than two references.
  5. Academic record.
  6. Letter of recommendation from a permanent member of the student’s law school, including other relevant details for consideration by UNCCA.

Applications should be directed to the Convenor of UNLAWS, Dr Alan Davidson of the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. Dr Davidson may be contacted at: a.davidson@law.uq.edu.au, or on 07 3365 2294.


UN Limited Liability Organisations – UNCITRAL Update

UNCCA Director, Diane Chapman, presented a paper at the UNCITRAL 50th Anniversary in Vienna in July on the Topic of ‘Inclusive Economic Development and the Key Role of UNCITRAL’. In her paper, Ms Chapman reviewed the important work being done by UNCITRAL in the area of micro-finance and electronic commerce, with an illuminating discussion about work being done to facilitate the creation of simplified legal entities likely to be called United Nations Limited Liability Organisations. A full copy of the Paper can be accessed at the following link: 17.07.04 Inclusive Economic Development and the Key Role of UNCITRAL.

Prishika Raj bound for New York

Best wishes to UNCCA Secretary Prishika Raj who will be leaving for New York next week to study an LLM at NYU specialising in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration. Prishika first became involved with UNCCA in her capacity as a Legal Officer at the Attorney-General’s Department, and took on an active role as our Secretary in 2016 after moving into legal practice. Prishika looks forward to welcoming our  UNCCA members attending working group meetings in New York next year and hopes to continue to expand her role with UNCCA. We all wish her very well over the next year – Tim Castle, Chair.