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International Law

Australian experts appointed as UNIDROIT Correspondents for 2022 – 2025

International Law Section Members might be interested to learn that eight senior Australian lawyers across government, the private sector and academia have recently been appointed as Pacific region Correspondents for the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT).

An independent intergovernmental organisation based in Rome, UNIDROIT is one of the three major legislative organisations working in the fields of international private law and international commercial law, alongside the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). Founded in 1926, UNIDROIT has 63 Member States that encompasses 73% of the world population and 90% of global nominal GDP. UNIDROIT has produced over thirty instruments (treaties, model laws, legal principles and guides) in various fields, although it is best known for the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) and its Protocols, and the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.

At its 101st session in June 2022, the UNIDROIT Governing Council appointed 109 Correspondents from around the world for a three-year term, including eight Australians. UNIDROIT Correspondents are national experts appointed in a personal capacity to work with UNIDROIT in achieving its Statutory objectives. Correspondents act as a source of information on national law for UNIDROIT, as expert counsel on matters of transnational law, and as informal ambassadors of UNIDROIT in their country, concerning both missions and events organised in the jurisdiction and relations with governments and institutions.

The Australian Correspondents will work alongside the three appointed New Zealand Correspondents to collectively promote the work of UNIDROIT in the Pacific region, with the objectives of (i) increasing engagement with government, the private sector and academia, (ii) supporting the implementation of UNIDROIT instruments in Pacific countries, and (iii) improving regional representation at UNIDROIT by advocating for Pacific countries to become UNIDORIT Member States.

The International Law Section congratulates the eight Australian lawyers in relation to their appointment as UNIDROIT Correspondents for the period of 2022 – 2025:

  1. Ms Ana Filipa Vrdoljak, Professor, University of Technology Sydney
  2. Mr Bruce Whittaker, Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne
  3. Mr Craig Forrest, Professor, University of Queensland
  4. Mr Donald Robertson, Partner, Dentons
  5. Mr Gavin McCosker, Australian Financial Security Authority
  6. Ms Lyndel V Prott, Emeritus Professor, University of Queensland
  7. Ms Sheelagh McCracken, Professor, University of Sydney
  8. Ms Suzanne Howarth, Executive Member, International Law Section, Law Council of Australia


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