The Cape Town Convention Academic Project held its seventh annual conference in Oxford from 12-13 September 2018 at the Blavatnik School of Government. The Conference, sponsored by University of Washington School of Law and the University of Oxford Faculty of Law, covered and discussed a number of crucial issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of all three existing protocols of the Cape Town Convention, as well as the developments of the draft MAC Protocol. In particular, a comparative legal analysis of the MAC Protocol and the other Protocols was provided by Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson, together with Aviareto Managing Director Rob Cowan, and Deputy Secretary-General Professor Anna Veneziano delivered a paper on the Contours of ‘Commercial reasonableness’ under the Cape Town Convention, which was commented on by Professor Edwin Peel (University of Oxford).
On 11 September 2018 UNIDROIT partnered with the Commercial Law Centre of Harris Manchester College in convening an international consultation event on the scope of the MAC Protocol. The consultation event brought together 35 Governmental representatives and legal experts from 21 countries, including the Ambassador of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic his excellency Mr Sayakane Sisouvong. The event was chaired by UNIDROIT Secretary-General Professor Ignacio Tirado and featured presentations from the author of the Official Commentaries to the Cape Town Convention Protocols Sir Roy Goode, UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary-General Professor Anna Veneziano, UNIDROIT Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson and MAC Working Group Director of Global Outreach Dr Marek Dubovec. The event provided a valuable opportunity for states to share their experiences in conducting domestic consultations on the scope of the MAC Protocol as determined by the Harmonized System.
On 6 September 2018, the ELI-UNIDROIT project on Transnational Rules of Civil Procedure was presented at the 2018 ELI Annual Conference in Riga. ELI President Diana Wallis and Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT Anna Veneziano co-chaired a panel, which was dedicated first to providing a brief overview of the progression of the Structure Group and its current status with possible topical issues including the scope/layout of the structure, use of comparative materials and the positioning of certain sections/topics. Further, the panel explored how the projects would confront the new developments of the digital age. Finally, the latest draft of the Working Group dedicated to Parties was addressed to show how the group had tackled certain topical issues (i.e. collective redress) given the new EU proposals and third party funding. The panel, which included Professors Xandra Kramer (University of Rotterdam), Mr John Sorabji (Principal Legal Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls, Judicial Office for England and Wales), and Professor Emmanuel Jeuland (La Sorbonne), stimulated a lively discussion among the participants.
Mr John Sorabji at the podium and, seated at the table (from L to R) Professor Emmanuel Jeuland,
Professor Anna Veneziano, Ms Diana Wallis, and Professor Xandra Kramer.
On 5 September 2018, the Secretary-General delivered a keynote speech during the first day of the conference "Society, Law, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics” in Prague (the SOLAIR Conference, 5-6 September). The conference was mainly focussed on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its legal implications across different fields. The interventions included a discussion on possible future cooperation between UNCITRAL and UNIDROIT on a subject matter which may be part of UNIDROIT´s future work programme, as outlined in the Proposal submitted by the Czech Republic on artificial intelligence and discussed during the 97th session of the UNIDROIT Governing Council. UNIDROIT´s work was first presented by Professor Monika Paukernová, member of the UNIDROIT Governing Council. In a joint panel, Anna Joubin-Bret (UNCITRAL´s Secretary) and Professor Ignacio Tirado presented the work that had done been done by the sister institutions to date, and reflected upon what could be done in the future. The talk was well received by those attending, government officials and members of the industry alike, who expressed their support for the commencement of work on the subject and participated in the debate, during and after the panel.
On Wednesday 29 August 2018 Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson participated in Australia’s first public stakeholder consultation on the MAC Protocol, jointly organised by the ACT Law Society, the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee of Australia (UNCCA) and UNIDROIT. Presentations were made by Bruce Whittaker (Ashurst Senior Consultant), Ashna Taneja Associate, Bird & Bird) and William Brydie-Watson on the Cape Town Convention, the operation of the MAC Protocol and its potential impact in Australia. The event was co-chaired by Lynette Molloy (ACT Law Society) and Dr Dalma Demeter (UNCCA). Representatives from Government, the legal and financing communities and the MAC sectors attended the forum.
On 31 July 2018, the Ministry of Justice of Japan and UNIDROIT co-organised an Invitational Workshop on the MAC Protocol to the Cape Town Convention, which was held at Gakushuin University (Tokyo). The Workshop was opened by Mr Muneki Uchino (Counselor of the Civil Affairs Bureau, of the Japanese Ministry of Justice), Professor Ignacio Tirado (Secretary-General elect, UNIDROIT), and Professor Hideki Kanda (UNIDROIT Governing Council member - Gakushuin University). Professor Megumi Hara (Japanese Delegate to the Committee of Governmental Experts for the MAC Protocol) then coordinated a Panel in which Mr Susumu Masuda (Delegate of Japan for the CTC and Aircraft Protocol) presented on the Practical Merits of the Cape Town Convention, followed by Secretary-General a.i. Professor Anna Veneziano on the Cape Town Convention and the Recent Developments of the MAC Protocol, a presentation on the Economic Analysis of the MAC Protocol by UNIDROIT Secretary-General elect Professor Ignacio Tirado, and a presentation on the HS Codes proposed by Japan for inclusion in the MAC Protocol annexes by Dr Marek Dubovec (Executive Board member of the MAC Protocol Working Group), followed by comments from Ms. Hitomi Yamanaka (Attorney of the Civil Affairs Bureau, of the Japanese Ministry of Justice). The Workshop was attended by eminent representatives of the Japanese Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as representatives from the relevant industries and academia.
|Secretary-General elect Ignacio Tirado||Group picture of Workshop participants|
On 8 August 2018, UNIDROIT accepted Costa Rica’s instrument of accession to the Aircraft Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. The Convention and the Aircraft Protocol will formally enter into force for the Republic of Costa Rica on 1 December 2018.
Further details about the Convention are available at "Depositary Functions of UNIDROIT (Cape Town Convention)" page.
On 13 July 2018 Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson participated in a workshop providing technical assistance to Indonesia regarding legal instruments that would assist in strengthening Indonesia’s economic legal infrastructure. Working alongside experts from UNCITRAL and the HCCH, UNIDROIT provided guidance on the Institute’s work in the agricultural development field, with a focus on the MAC Protocol, Legal Guide on Contract Farming and future Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment. The workshop was organised in conjunction with the SELI group under the APEC Economic Committee.