find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Federal Government to boost UN participation

Federal Government to boost UN participation

AT THE annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law held at the National Museum of Australia last week, Attorney General Robert McClelland announced that the…

AT THE annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law held at the National Museum of Australia last week, Attorney General Robert McClelland announced that the federal government will strengthen its participation in the United Nations.

Though he admitted that the UN was “by no means a perfect institution”, McClelland said that engaging with it was the best way to make it stronger and more effective.

“We are faced with two options in relation to advancing international human rights,” he said. “We can snipe at international human rights institutions from the sidelines while other nations take the lead, or we can engage with those institutions in a spirit of co-operation. Let me assure you that this government will not be on the sidelines.”

On this front, McClelland said that the government is currently working to fast-track the process for ratification of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and has also prioritised becoming party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

According to McClelland, balancing the two goals of promoting and protecting human rights and advancing national peace and security remains: “one of the most important dilemmas facing Governments around the world, including our own.”

McClelland said that the recently concluded treaty banning inhumane cluster munitions was a good example of this balance. The treaty contains provisions on “victim assistance” — which McClelland said would help deliver “real outcomes” for survivors of cluster munitions and their families.

However the treaty also recognises that not all states will become a party to it in the short term, and it has provisions preserving the ability of military forces of parties to the treaty to continue to operate together with non parties.

“I understand that this provision is not without its critics, but this is part of the balance needed to make such treaties achievable,” he said.

He also spoke of the soon to be established International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, which will be charged with assessing the progress made in achieving the aims of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and examining ways of strengthening its provisions.

“There are pressures on the efficiency of the NPT that need to be addressed by the international community,” he said.

Finally, McClelland discussed the role of international courts and tribunals and the place for international litigation. International litigation, McClelland said, should not be commenced lightly.

“It is a course of action that should not be considered in isolation. Factors such as the effect of commencing litigation on relations with other countries must be considered,” he said. The government should also carefully consider the likelihood of success or failure of litigation, and that the court or tribunal used must be carefully matched to the law and the facts of the particular case, he added.

“Such a decision requires a government, on the basis of proper advice, to weigh up a range of legal and diplomatic factors,” McClelland said. “Of course, having weighed those factors, governments should not be afraid of taking legal action through international courts where that is the appropriate course.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Federal Government to boost UN participation
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...