Landmark law confab set this month

SOME 400 delegates from all over the world are expected to converge for a landmark law conference on August 22-23 at Novotel Hotel in Araneta Center, Quezon City.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. described the 7th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society for International Law (AsianSIL), as the “most important international law event that will take place in the Philippines this year.” It will be the first time the Philippines will be hosting this event.

The Conference is hosted by the AsianSIL and co-presented by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines (DFA), the Philippine Society of International Law (PSIL), the University of the Philippines’ College of Law and the UP Law Center. It will have the theme “Rethinking International Law: Finding Common Solutions to Contemporary Civilizational Issues from an Asian Perspective.”

Foreign Assistant Secretary for Treaties and Legal Affairs and PSIL Vice-President J. Eduardo Malaya said, “the DFA is pleased to host and be associated with the forthcoming AsianSIL Biennial Conference as it reaffirms the role of international law as guide to Philippine foreign policy.”

Locsin will deliver the welcome remarks during the opening ceremonies on August 22, while International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judge Yuji Iwasawa will deliver the keynote address. This is the first time for a sitting ICJ Judge to visit the Philippines.

Others who will speak at the opening ceremonies are Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza, who will represent Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, AsianSIL President Professor Harry L. Roque, Jr., and PSIL President Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan.

Three publications will be launched at the Conference: the newly revived “Philippine Yearbook of International Law”, “Treaties: Guidance and Practices”, and the “Enhancing International Legal Cooperation: Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, and Cooperation in Transnational Organized Crimes and Narcotic Drugs (Treaties, Laws and Procedures)”. All are published by the UP Law Center.

On 23 August 2019, the Conference will highlight a Special Plenary Panel in honor of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Florentino Feliciano, with the theme, “International Legal Scholarship and Judicial Theory: International Law as Shaped by Asian Judges and Lawyers – What Do We Bring to the Table?”

The Special Plenary will be chaired by Justice Jardeleza, as notable legal luminaries who will speak would include: former Judge and ICJ President Judge (ret.) Hisashi Owada, International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) President Judge Jin-Hyun Paik, University of Denver-Strum College of Law Professor Ved Nanda, and University of New South Wales-Faculty of Law Professor Natalie Klein.

Over 30 plenary and parallel sessions over the course of the two-day Conference would engage the legal scholars on various topics, including Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) Secretary General Dr. Christophe Bernasconi, and African-Asian Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) Secretary General Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, among others.

Side events are also slated to happen as part of the Conference, which are open to all interested lawyers and law students. On 21 August 2019, the DFA and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) will host a Forum with ICJ Judge Iwasawa with the theme, “The Future of the International Court of Justice: Prospects and Challenges,” at the UP College of Law’s BGC Campus in Taguig City.

On  August 22, the DFA and the Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (IMLOS) will host a Forum with ITLOS Judge Paik entitled, “The Role of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the Settlement of Disputes related to the Law of the Sea: Current Trends and Other Developments”, also at the UP College of Law’s BGC Campus.