THIS YEAR’S recipient of the The Peter Nygh Hague Conference internship, Gilbert + Tobin paralegal Katie Price, says her feet “haven’t hit the ground” since the announcement.
Price will soon be flying out of the country to spend three to six months in the Netherlands working with leading private international law practitioners at The Hague Conference on Private International Law.
The competitive selection process for the internship took into account academic achievement, linguistic proficiency and research and writing skills.
The selection process also involved a written application which was followed by a rigorous interview process involving several judges, including Commonwealth Solicitor General David Bennett QC and members of the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference.
What tipped the balance in Price’s favour was her particular interest in the work of the Hague — she completed her thesis on the topic of foreign recognition of same sex marriage.
“The Hague Conference actually wrote The Hague Convention on marriage recognition, and part of what my thesis was about was the fact that we’re possibly in violation of that convention, if not others, in not recognising them,” Price said.
“In terms of what I’ll be able to do specifically, obviously I’ll be working on quite generalised projects, so I might not get a chance to specifically deal with that [same sex marriage issue], but I’ll be keeping the Attorney General’s Department up to date with any developments that come on that.”
The internship is administered by Allens Arthur Robinson, and includes a $10,000 bursary. The position is not paid, but there are opportunities for interns to earn a wage as a recording secretary for the Hague in their spare time.
Price has a tightly packed schedule for the next two years. She had already booked her flights to the Netherlands to attend a summer program at the The Hague Academy of International Law, so after completing the six-week course, she will start her internship.
Next year, she will be working as an associate to Justice Peter Graham in the Federal Court, before returning to Gilbert and Tobin as a graduate in 2010. In between she will spend two weeks in Nice learning French (she already speaks fluent Italian).
But, remarkably, she’s already planning even further ahead.
“My aim is to eventually, hopefully, end up at the bar where I would hope to do some international work — in particular, international commercial arbitration,” Price said.
The Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship was established in memory of the late Hon Dr Peter Nygh AM, a leading international lawyer and former judge of the Family Court of Australia.
The internship is awarded by the Australian Institute of International Affairs in conjunction with the International Law Association (Australian Branch). It is principally funded by donations from the Nygh family and the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. Allens Arthur Robinson supports the administration of the award.