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A Short Report on the AALCO Legal Advisors Meeting held at The United Nations, New York in October/November 2017

A Short Report on the AALCO Legal Advisors Meeting held at The United Nations, New York in October/November 2017

In accordance with AALCO’s long-standing practice, a meeting of the Legal Advisors of AALCO had taken place in New York this year. The meeting was divided into two parts convened on two different days. The first one, which took place on 24th October 2017, was entitled: ‘Dialogue with International Law Practitioners’. 

The objective of this Dialogue was to enrich the understanding of how international law cases are prepared, presented, argued and managed before various international dispute settlement forums such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) from the standpoint of Agent, Counsel and Advocates. The Panelists included: Dr. Katherine Del Mar, Barrister Chambers (London);  Professor Mathias Forteau, University of Paris Ouest, Nanterre-La Defense (France); Dr. Ben Juratowitch, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP;  Professor Marcelo Kohen, Institut de Hautes Etudes International et du Development (Geneva); and Mr. Andrew B. Loewenstein. Foley Hoag LLP. The topics were as varied as: selection of forum and founding the jurisdiction; evidential materials and collection of evidence; litigation strategies (e.g., areas for focus, composition of the team of counsel and advocates in terms of diversity, expertise and languages); costs; management (e.g., role of law firms); clientele relationship, etc. Presentations focused on legal issues involved rather than specific cases or parties involved. After the presentations, an exchange of views followed. 

The second meeting was held on 1st November 2017. This was devoted to examine “Current International Law Problems”. During this meeting, a galaxy of eminent speakers had delivered their viewpoints on varying contemporary topics of international law. The Opening Remarks focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was made by H.E. Ambassador Macharia Kamau, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations. Presentations were made by: Patrizio M. Civili, the Permanent Observer of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) on “Remarks on Development Law Issues”; Professor Teresa Cheng, GBS SC JP, Chairman, The Asian Academy of International Law on “Pragmatic issues of Arbitration”; Dr. Dirk Pulkowski, Senior Legal Counsel, PCA on “Legal Services Provided by the Permanent Court of Arbitration”; Dr. Olufemi Elias, Assistant Secretary-General, The Registrar on “Challenges Facing the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals”; Professor Lauri Malksoo, Tartu University (Estonia), Member of IDI on “International Law Aspects of Cyber Intrusion” and  Prof.  Kennedy Gastorn, Secretary General on “Identification of Customary International Law and Jus Cogens”. After the presentations were over, there was a Question and Answer Session where many issues of significance flowing from the presentations were debated and clarified.