The Second United Nations Day Lecture organised by UNCCA was held on the 24th October 2018 simultaneously across all capital cities of Australia to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
International commercial arbitration is founded upon one of UNCITRAL’s most successful conventions, the New York Convention, to which three-quarters of all nations, including Australia, have signed up over its 60-year history. With 159 parties, the Convention provides both a legal framework and global legitimacy to international arbitration, enabling the enforcement of awards across jurisdictions in a simplified and uniform manner, by this giving arbitration an advantage over state court litigation.
This year UNCCA hosted the UN Day Lecture mainly in the Federal Courts around Australia, at the ACT Supreme Court in Canberra, and at William Forrester Chambers in Darwin. Each event brought together a group of speakers and commentators including Judges, academics to legal professionals, and attracted a total of over 400 registered attendees nation-wide.
The Adelaide lecture was hosted at the Federal Court, chaired by Justice Anthony Besanko. Judge Patrick O’Sullivan was the main speaker for the event and Mrs Jessica Viven-Wilksch from the University of Adelaide provided commentary.
The Brisbane lecture was hosted at the at the Federal Court and was chaired by Justice Roger Derrington. Leading the lecture was Professor Khory McCormick from Griffith University, while Ms Erika Williams from McCullough Robertson provided commentary.
The Canberra lecture was hosted at the newly renovated ACT Supreme Court which was chaired by Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson. UNCCA Deputy Chair, Dr Dalma Demeter from the University of Canberra was the lead Canberra speaker and Ian Govey AM, Executive Director of ACICA provided the final commentary for the evening.
The Darwin event was hosted by William Forrester Chambers and chaired by Justice Judith Kelly. Cameron Ford, Senior Corporate Counsel at Rio Tinto lead the conversation, and final commentary was provided by Associate Professor David Price from Charles Darwin University
The Hobart lecture was hosted at the Federal Court and chaired by Justice Duncan Kerr. Former UNCCA chair and barrister from 6 St James Hall Chambers Tim D. Castle FCIArb was the lead speaker, and Ms Anja Hilkemeijer from the University of Tasmania provided the final commentary.
The Melbourne lecture was hosted at the Federal Court and chaired by Ms Caroline Kenny QC, President of CIArb Australia. Chief Justice James Allsop AO was the lead speaker, and final commentary was provided by Justice Clyde Croft.
The Perth lecture was hosted at the Federal Court and was chaired by Justice Katrina Banks-Smith. UNCCA Chair Justice Neil McKerracher was the speaker for the evening, with final commentary provided by Professor Camilla Andersen from the University of Western Australia.
Finally, the Sydney UN Day lecture was hosted at the Federal Court by Justice Nye Perram. The conversation was led by the Honourable Roger Gyles AO, QC and Professor Vivienne Bath from the university of University of Sydney provided commentary to round up the event.
The UNCCA team is grateful and humbled by the level of engagement and interest the legal profession, academia and the judiciary showed to celebrating UN Day and the New York Convention through these simultaneous events. Next year the UNCCA UN Day Lecture will be dedicated to cross-border insolvency, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the seminal UNCITRAL-INSOL conference that led to the inception of the Model Law on Cross Border Insolvency.