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Chair's Welcome


The Hon. Justice

Sarah C Derrington AM


Judge (Federal Court of Australia), UNCCA Chair

It is my pleasure to welcome you to UNCCA and to invite you to become involved in the work of this unique organisation. The UNCITRAL National Coordinating Committee for Australia (UNCCA) has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. It is the first committee of its type to be established globally. Its objective is to provide the primary platform for Australia’s engagement with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

I have the privilege of leading UNCCA into its next decade, following in the footsteps of its founder and initial chairman, Tim Castle SC, and the chairmanships of, the Hon Neil McKerracher KC, and the Hon Justice Brigitte Markovic. Under their leadership, UNCCA has flourished, bringing together key stakeholders in international trade law in Australia, including members of the legal profession, academics, members of the judiciary, and importantly, students – the future leaders within the field.


In this increasingly tense time for the global community, it is most important that civilised and harmonious commercial relations between nation States continue to be promoted and enhanced. It is within this sphere that UNCCA’s work is critical. Its activities include: promoting representation by Australians at the UNCITRAL working groups, either as part of an official delegation or as observers on behalf of Law Asia; liaising with the Australian Government on matters relevant to current working groups, including the implementation of UNCITRAL conventions; participating at UNCITRAL conferences and symposia in Asia and the Pacific region; conducting events including the UNCCA annual May seminar; and delivering annual UN Day lectures.

We invite you to explore our website, which provides a wealth of information about the work of UNCITRAL and its current six working groups: I Warehouse Receipts; II Dispute Settlement: III Investor-State Dispute Settlement; IV Electronic Commerce; V Insolvency Law; VI Negotiable Cargo Documents.

We warmly encourage anyone with an interest in these particular areas, as well as in international trade law generally, to join UNCCA via the link on the website or by contacting us. Your expertise and enthusiasm are crucial to ensuring an appropriate legal framework by which to secure Australia’s economic future within the international community.


We look forward to welcoming you to UNCCA.


Justice Sarah C Derrington AM


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.

As an organisation, we are guided by our Strategic Plan.​

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.

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