The Annual Kirby Lecture on International Law - International dispute resolution: Australian perspectives and approaches

Date & time

5.30–6.30pm Thursday 7 December 2017


Law Theatre

ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, The Australian National University


Bill Campbell PSM QC, General Counsel (International Law), Office of International Law, Attorney-General’s Department


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Nicole Harman

Presented by The Centre for International & Public Law

Public lecture

Part of the Annual Kirby Lecture on International Law series

Bill Campbell QC

Australia’s engagement with international courts and tribunals over the past 20 years has increased markedly, in part due to its acceptance of new forms of contentious jurisdiction, but also because states and private actors have become more litigious. There are common elements to the conduct of such litigation including choice of forum, selection of arbitrators and ad hoc judges, whether to seek provisional measures, questions of jurisdiction and admissibility, the taking of preliminary objections, the content and form of the evidence and the choice of substantive arguments.

This lecture will explore some of those matters with particular reference to the conduct by Australia of the more recent cases in which it has been involved before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and various ad hoc arbitral tribunals. The lecture also will explore Australia’s participation in ICJ and ITLOS advisory opinion proceedings in which there can often be a real question as to the appropriateness of the Court or Tribunal rendering the opinion requested of it.

Canapes and drinks from 5pm.


  • Bill Campbell PSM QC »

    Bill Campbell PSM QC is General Counsel (International Law), Office of International Law (OIL), Attorney-General’s Department. Prior to that he was First Assistant Secretary of OIL. In both of those capacities he has advised successive Australian Governments on international law and was responsible for the conduct of Australia’s litigation before international courts and tribunals. He was Agent and Counsel for Australia in the Southern Bluefin Tuna, Volga and Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission Advisory Opinion Cases before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Counsel in the Questions Relating to the Seizure and the Detention of Certain Documents and Data Case before the ICJ and in the Tobacco Plain Packaging Arbitration (Philip Morris (Asia) v. Australia). He was, for a period, Vice-President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law.

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