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World pieces: bringing the world together through international law

Cover Story

Cite as: (2005) 79(7) LIJ, p. 34


International law has risen to prominence due to the increasing interconnection between states and the associated differences and disputes that arise between countries on political, economic, geographical and religious grounds. It is an area of law that encompasses principles and accepted rules rather than legislation, and this often makes it difficult to define or comprehend. However, it is the complexity and scope of international law that makes it of particular interest to both lawyers and non-legal practitioners. It presents a contrast to our local laws and their application to domestic disputes.

The Law Institute of Victoria’s International Law Committee (ILC) is delighted to present this Special Issue of the LIJ with a focus on international law. The articles reflect the diverse nature of this area of law.

In “Coming and going: protecting FTA traffic”, Ross Becroft, Andrew Hudson and Lynne Kinnear survey the various free trade agreements entered into and being negotiated by the Australian government and the potential risk areas for exporters and investors.

Nicole Bigby examines the role and operation of interim measures in international arbitration and the draft revised Art 17 of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Arbitration in “Arbitrating international disputes”.

“Know your limits: claims for international carriage of goods” by Nick Luxton and Matthew Harvey looks at claims for the international carriage of goods to Australia by sea and air and in particular the limits that apply to such claims.

Professor Phillip Hamilton provides a practical introduction to document authentication in international transactions and legal proceedings in his article “Avoid rejection: successful international document authentication”. In particular, he looks at the roles of common law notaries in contrast to civil law notaries.

The increasing media attention and widespread international concern about the long-term detention of asylum seekers in Australia has called into question Australia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. In “Not at home: the dilemma of detained asylum seekers”, Parinaz Kermani looks at recent High Court cases and the retraction of asylum seekers’ rights under the Migration Act.

In the area of international environmental law, Wayne S Gumley in “Under the microscope: biodiversity protection in Australia” comments on the need for Australia to take stronger steps to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Convention for Protection of Biological Diversity.

The ILC provides a means for members to keep in touch with and be informed about developments in international law, whether they be in the area of international trade, environment, arbitration, treaties, jurisdictional issues or maritime boundary disputes. The ILC meets each month and features a speaker on a topic of interest in international law. Recent speakers have included Professor Gillian Triggs from Melbourne University speaking on the Australia-East Timor maritime boundary dispute, Ron Salter from Phillips Fox on the benefits of arbitration over litigation, Kirsten Sayers from Austrade on international trade and government initiatives, and Andrew Hudson from Hunt & Hunt on Australia’s free trade agreement agenda.

We recently farewelled ILC chair Nick Luxton, who is moving offshore to Hong Kong to work in law. New ILC chair Andrew Hudson practises in international trade law and is active not only in the ILC but also the Law Council of Australia’s International Law Section. The ILC welcomes new members. Anyone interested should contact jkummrow@liv.asn.au or ph 9607 9385.

Jo Kummrow
LIV Advocacy & Practice Solicitor

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