Call for Applicants: UNLAWS 2018 Program

UNCCA Law-Student Attendance Working-Group Scheme (UNLAWS)

The UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA) has established a scheme to allow Australian law students to attend UNCITRAL Working Group meetings as part of a delegation with Australian UNCCA Expert members. Expert members of UNCCA have been attending and contributing to the six Working Groups of UNCITRAL since 2013. Further information about the work of the Working Groups can be found on the UNCITRAL website

The Groups

There are six UNCITRAL Working Groups that typically meet biannually, in New York and Vienna. This provides twelve opportunities per year – (however WG II is not meeting in Vienna this year).  To date more than 40 students have attended Working Group sessions with UNCCA delegates, including candidates from the following universities:

  • Curtin University
  • La Trobe University
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Victoria University


UNCCA invites Australian Law Schools to nominate law students to participate in the Scheme for the upcoming Sessions at the UNCITRAL headquarters in Vienna.  The Convenor of the UNLAWS scheme is Dr Alan Davidson, Education Director of UNCCA. Dr Davidson may be contacted: –  07 33652294

The dates for 2018 are:

  • Working Group I: Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: 8-12 October 2018, Vienna
  • Working Group II: Dispute Settlement – (Not meeting)
  • Working Group III: Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform: 29 October-2 November 2018, Vienna
  • Working Group IV: Electronic Commerce: 19-23 November 2018 Vienna (Not available for 2018)
  • Working Group V: Insolvency Law: 10-14 December 2018, Vienna
  • Working Group VI: Security Interests: 17-21 December 2018, Vienna

The aim of the UNLAWS Scheme is to increase awareness of the work of UNCITRAL and to provide students with the unique opportunity to participate in the consideration and formulation of future harmonised legal texts in relation to international trade law.


Participation in the UNLAWS scheme will be limited to two students per session, based on merit selection.  Not all sessions will be offered.  Students must be self-funded, with individual law schools being encouraged to offer assistance to any students selected. No fee is payable to UNCCA.  UNCCA will arrange for observer status for successful students.

Participation in the Scheme 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 offered participation in the Scheme must fund all private costs (including airfares, accommodation, meals, travel insurance and incidentals – no fee is payable to UNCCA).

 Application Procedure – 2018

Applications must be in writing to the Scheme Convenor, Dr Alan Davidson (by email).

Application Deadline for 2018 Vienna Working Groups: 31 August 2018.

Submission Materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae (1-5 pages).
  • Statement of Interest (2-4 pages). Please indicate any previous courses or experience which relate to the research area of the placement for which you are applying.
  • Academic Record.
  • Letter of recommendation from a permanent member of the Law School including other relevant details for consideration by UNCCA.

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

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 before starting their Project (

Trade Law Forum – Incheon 2018

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The Trade Law Forum will be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 10-12 September 2018. The forum comprises the first Inter-sessional Regional Meeting on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform and three workshops to discuss recent trends in international trade.

The Inter-sessional Meeting will consist of a one-day Conference on regional perspectives on ISDS reform on 10 September 2018, followed by a half-day Roundtable discussion on 11 September 2018. It will be an open forum for high-level government representatives as well as relevant stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues being deliberated by Working Group III. We expect participation of high-level government officials responsible for investment policy and investment dispute settlement.

The second part of the Trade Law Forum will consist of three workshops that will provide a forum for discussing recent developments in norm making in the field of international trade law. UNCITRAL’s recent work in the fields of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), electronic commerce, insolvency and secured transactions will be featured during the workshops.

The Trade Law Forum will provide an opportunity for participants to receive updates on recent developments at UNCITRAL on a number of different topics. Interested attendees should confirm participation by registering for the event at the Register RSVP link or here by no later than 31 August 2018.

All queries may be directed to UNCITRAL-RCAP by email at: or

Internationalisation of Directors’ Duties (Melbourne, Victoria)


The Commercial Bar Association (Insolvency Section) and the UNCITRAL Coordination Committee for Australia cordially invite interested parties to attend its upcoming CPD seminar in Melbourne on 30 July 2018, entitled “The Internationalisation of Directors’ Duties”.

Insolvency law experts Stewart Maiden QC and Dr Neil Hannan will be presenting on the day.

Interested attendants should RSVP by email to The event is scheduled to run from 5:15pm to 6:15pm on 30 July 2018 at Neil McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, Melbourne.

The MAC Protocol: a joint event by UNCCA, UNIDROIT, and the ACT Law Society

The MAC Protocol: Global Impact and Potential Benefits for Australia

MAC Protocol – Australia consultation – Canberra invitation (updated tracked)


UNCCA is proud to promote the upcoming MAC Protocol workshop – organised and carried out in partnership with the International Law Committee of the ACT Law Society and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT).

The event is scheduled for Wednesday 29 August at 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the ACT Law Society, 1 Farrell Place, Canberra. The event presents the opportunity for attendees to participate in a consultation workshop on the Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on matters specific to Agricultural, Construction and Mining Equipment (the MAC Protocol).

The MAC Protocol is an international treaty currently under negotiation that will increase global productivity in the mining, agriculture and construction sectors. The treaty will provide an international legal framework for the financing of MAC equipment. Cheaper financing and access to modern MAC equipment will allow parties involved in the mining, agriculture and construction sectors to optimise their productivity and profitability.

This event will bring together representatives from UNIDROIT, domestic legal experts in secured transactions law, government, the private sector, civil society representatives and academia to discuss the legal and economic impact of the MAC Protocol and its potential benefits for Australia.

Interested parties may register directly with the ACT Law Society here. Registrations close Friday 24 August.


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 ( 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:
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