New York Chapter
The New York Chapter was formed in 2012. The officers of the New York Chapter are:
- Convenor - Ms Susan M. Davies
- Deputy Convenor - Ms Kerrie C. Horrocks
- Treasurer - Mr Peter Harper
- Secretary - Ms Lara Rabiee
Major events and activities
The New York Chapter held a reception for Australian lawyers in honour of renowned Australian human rights lawyer and scholar Dr Anne Gallagher, AO on 7 February 2013 at the offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Dr Gallager spoke on the subject: "From Peacekeepers to Slave Traders: An Australian's Journey to the United Nations and Beyond." Her remarks were published in the January-March 2013 issue of Law Council Review.
On 29 April 2013, Ms Anne Bodley (then Deputy Convenor of the New York Chapter) represented LCA as part of the American Bar Association's annual day at the United Nations. The nearly 40-person delegation was comprised predominantly of ABA-related representatives with LCA as the sole non-ABA entity represented. The delegation met with top UNHQ personnel and representatives of the U.S. Mission to the UN, and had a half-hour meeting with UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon (Korea) and the outgoing Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Ms Patricia O'Brien (Ireland).
On 25 January 2013, members and friends of the New York Chapter attended a luncheon meeting with Law Council President Joe Catanzariti and ILS Chair Dr Gordon Hughes at The 21 Club.
The New York Chapter hosted a brown bag lunch for Australian lawyers with Emeritus Professor Bob Baxt, AO, former Chair of LCA's Business Law Section, at the offices of McLaughlin & Stern LLP on 27 March 2013. Professor Baxt discussed the work of the Business Law Section and recent trends in Australian business regulation. Attendees included several of Professor Baxt's former colleagues and students.
The Australian Community, a social and professional networking group for Australians living and working in New York City, held a cocktail reception on 16 January 2013 to introduce members of the New York Chapter to members of The Australian Community.
The New York Chapter held its first Annual General Meeting on 16 January 2013 at the offices of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The membership elected the following officers to two-year terms: Convenor – Ms Susan M. Davies; Deputy Convenor – Ms Anne Bodley; Treasurer – Mr Peter Harper; Secretary – Ms Keira Campbell. In July 2013, Ms Bodley resigned as Deputy Convenor upon moving to London. Ms Kerrie C. Horrocks has assumed the position of Deputy Convenor for the balance of Ms Bodley's term.
Members of the New York Chapter met on five occasions during the year to organize events and discuss matters of mutual interest.
Other Chapter activities
The New York Chapter has developed connections with the LL.M. programs at Columbia University and New York University through Australian advisors to those programs. (Ms Mary Maher, formerly a Career Services Advisor at Columbia University and Ms Amy Heading, LL.M. Pro Bono Manager at N.Y.U.) Chapter members serve as informal mentors to Australian LL.M. candidates who are interested in working in New York, and to other newly-arrived Australian lawyers.
New York Chapter members manage a LINKEDIN group for Australian Lawyers in NYC that has been used to publicize Chapter events to Australian lawyers and to address questions from Australian lawyers about admission to the New York bar.
Future plans and meeting dates
The New York Chapter looks forward to hosting a reception for LCA President Michael Colbran QC when he visits New York early in 2014. If possible, the New York Chapter would like to co-ordinate Mr Colbran's visit with the Chapter's 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Chapter objectives for 2014 are to host two to three events for Australian lawyers, possibly offering Continuing Legal Education credits for New York admitted lawyers. We would like to work with ILS to increase our local membership and involvement in Section affairs.
ABA Day at the UN
On 31 March 2014 Mr Tim Nelson, of the Law Council’s New York Chapter participated in the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Day at the United Nations (UN).
The Law Council was invited to participate in this annual event, which facilitates liaison between the ABA and relevant officials at the UN, as a result of the Law Council’s Special Consultative Status with the UN and in recognition of the close relationship between the Law Council and the ABA. Participation in this event to assists the Law Council to further strengthen its relationship with the ABA and also assist in promoting the activities of the Law Council’s New York Chapter. The Law Council also uses the opportunity to promote its Special Consultative Status (SCS) with the UN and its relevant policy work, and to collect further insights and information regarding relevant UN bodies and the US Mission to the UN.
The Law Council is most grateful for Mr Nelson’s attendance at this years’ Day at the UN and intends to use the information and insights gained to further its policy work in a range of areas, including the promotion of the Law Council’s Rule of Law Principles – noting the ongoing interest of both the ABA and the UN in the promotion and protection of the Rule of Law in our region and beyond.
Mr Nelson reported that the day's discussion was dominated by three principal crises currently facing the UN: Ukraine, Syria and the situation in Central African Republic. Another issue for discussion was the UN's focus on redrawing its ‘2015’ agenda.
Participants also heard about:
- the Global Compact, a project that is part of a public/private ‘sustainability initiative’ aimed at encouraging ‘responsible investment’ in developing countries, and that promotes a series of ‘normative standards’ for corporate conduct;
- the UN's current work in conflict prevention;
- the ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’, and how the Rule of Law would fit into the Agenda; and
- the UN’s work in seeking to eliminate the use of child soldiers in armed conflict, and the protection of children generally.
The day ended with participants receiving an address from the Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel, who spoke about the work of international tribunals in addressing crimes of sexual violence in armed conflict and civil unrest.
The Law Council thanks Mr Nelson for his feedback and looks forward to using its SCS to participate in similar activities in the future.
Moira Paterson Presentation to NY Chapter
Moira Paterson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Monash University and FOI Editor for the Australian Administrative Law Service. She has published widely in the area of freedom of information, privacy and health records law and is the author of Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia: Government and Information Access in the Modern State (LexisNexis/Butterworths, 2005). She is a member of the Privacy Advisory Committee to the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner and has been a member of advisory committees to the Australian Law Reform Commission in relation to its Privacy and Secrecy laws inquiries and to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in relation to its Surveillance in Public Places report.