The UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA), established in 2013, is the first of its kind globally. It owes its existence and success to the founder and initial chair, Tim Castle, a Sydney barrister. Tim remains on our board. Since that time UNCITRAL now has National Coordination Committees in India and Japan, with the prospect of more to follow.
Built on the voluntary contribution of time by our members, known as UNCCA Fellows, UNCCA has achieved many things in the past few years:
Representation by Australians at all six UNCITRAL Working Groups since 2015, either as part of an official Australian delegation or as observers on behalf of LAWASIA;
Participation at numerous UNCITRAL conferences and symposia in Asia and the Pacific, as speakers and session chairs;
Participation at expert group meetings organized by the UNCITRAL Secretariat in preparation for Working Group Meetings;
Conducting annual UNCITRAL Seminars in May each year in Canberra for government and private sector stakeholders
Delivering UN Day lectures in most Australian capitals in 2017.
Australia was re-elected as a member of UNCITRAL in 2015, an outcome strongly supported by UNCCA.
Australian lawyers and academics have much to contribute to the development of harmonized trade laws in our region and globally. UNCCA now provides the vehicle for anyone who is interested in one of the nine key UNCITRAL areas to participate in that contribution.
One of the goals of this website is to increase awareness of the work our Australian colleagues are doing in each of these areas, as well as to links and information for our members about future opportunities for participation.
If you would like to get involved with UNCCA, please let us know via the web site or directly. We will try to find opportunities for you commensurate with your skills, interests and availability. You will be in good company, with a group of talented and motivated colleagues from the judiciary, practising profession, academia and the government. Being involved offers the opportunity to enhance your knowledge, awareness of global trade law issues and to broaden your networks.
We look forward to welcoming you to UNCCA.
Justice Neil McKerracher
The Hon. Justice Neil McKerracher
Judge (Federal Court of Australia), Chair
How we work
UNCCA operates as a company incorporated by guarantee, with our own Constitution. The voting members of UNCCA are called UNCCA Fellows, in recognition of their contribution to the work of UNCITRAL and UNCCA. The UNCCCA Fellows elect a board of directors of 12, which provides a diverse representation of academics and practitioners from within Australia.
Each month the directors meet by telephone in Committee session to progress the day-to-day work of UNCCA. The agenda for these meetings reflects the broad scope of UNCITRAL’s activities, including working group participation, adoption of texts, and participation in events organized by UNCITRAL’s Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific.
Our key event is our annual May Seminar. This is a one-day seminar typically held in May, with the aim to provide a forum for mutual exchange about items of current interest in relation to UNCITRAL.
In addition, UNCCA has established this website to function as our primary and on-going means of communicating information about the work of UNCITRAL and UNCCA to interested parties in Australia. In addition we also seek to organize seminars and other events in the capital cities that are more accessible to a broader group of our friends and supporters.
We are very keen to encourage interested lawyers, academics and students to joint UNCCA as associate members to learn more about our work and events, and hopefully progress to the rank of UNCCA Fellow by attending a Working Group meeting, or other equivalent events organized by the RCAP.
Associate members are more than welcome to participate in the work of one of our Expert Advisory Committees (EACs). These Committees are primarily composed of lawyers and academics with specialist expertise or interest in one of the areas of UNCITRAL’s work. The principal role of the EACs is to prepare for upcoming Working Group meetings, but they have a wider role to play in relation to any other matter of relevance to their specialist area.
Click here to find out more about our distinguished EAC Chairs.