The future of private international law in Australia

3 May 2011

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Australia's prominent position in the world economic order depends on the ability of its businesses to sell their products and expertise internationally, and to engage in cross-border ventures. This process of globalisation has also broadened the opportunities of Australians to travel, whether for business, employment, education or personal reasons. The, perhaps inevitable, result of these developments is a growth in the number of disputes before Australian courts which have a cross-border element, whether of the parties or the subject matter.

This fact puts the subject of "private international law" in Australia into focus. When should an Australian court hear cases of this kind, and when should it send the parties elsewhere? Should local or foreign rules be applied? When will foreign decisions be recognised and enforced? The current approach to private international law in Australia consists of a rather eclectic mix of treaty obligation, local legislation and judicially created rules. By contrast, the European Union has moved to an almost exclusively legislative model.

Against this background, this seminar looks at the future of private international law in Australia. The four speakers will address this topic from the different perspectives of judge, legislator, practitioner and academic.

Confirmed speakers include:

Justice Paul Le Gay Brereton is a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, sitting principally in the Equity Division. Prior to his appointment, he practised as a solicitor and barrister in New South Wales. With Professor Martin Davies and Dr Bell, Justice Brereton is an editor of Nygh's Conflict of Laws in Australia, the 8th edition of which was published in 2010.

Dr Andrew Bell was called to the bar in 1995 and appointed as special counsel in 2006. He specialises in matters of private international law, transnational litigation and arbitration and has appeared before the High Court in many of the leading cases. He is one of the co-editors of Nygh's Conflict of Laws in Australia.

Thomas John currently heads the Private International Law Section of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. He holds law degrees from the University of Konstanz in Germany and from the University of Queensland, and is admitted to practice as a barrister in Australia. Thomas is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Chair of the Law Council of Australia's European Focus Group.

Andrew Dickinson is the Professor in Private International Law at Sydney Law School. He divides his time between Australia and the UK, where he practices as a solicitor. Andrew is one of the specialist editors of Dicey, Morris & Collins: The Conflict of Laws, the leading work on English private international law.

Full fee: $88 inc GST
Sydney Law School alumni: $70.40 inc GST
Full time academic: $66 inc GST
Full time student: $44 inc GST


Click here to view a copy of the seminar brochure.

Date: 16 May 2011

Time:Registration: 5.30pm. Seminar: 6-7.30pm

Location: Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Contact:Law Events

Phone: 02 9351 0248


More info: fee: $88, Sydney Law School alumni: $70.40, Full time academic: $66, Full time student: $44

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 1f1501226c305b2b4a30372e350517391b11230503007f0d36207d0440