Current students and recent graduates of the ANU College of Law have the opportunity to spend a year working with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague – gaining invaluable insight to international law, diplomacy and dispute resolution – with the announcement of the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration Fellowship.
The Fellowship, which is the only one of its kind in Australia and includes a $25,000 scholarship to assist with travel and living expenses, will see the successful applicant living in The Hague, Netherlands, and working as an Associate to a Permanent Court of Arbitration Judge.
The inaugural recipient of the Scholarship, Sarah Castles, has been working as an Assistant Legal Counsel at the Court since February, broadening her knowledge of international law, the Law of the Sea, climate change related disputes, and investment treaty law and arbitration.
Sarah, who has taken leave from her job at the Attorney-General’s Department to take up the Scholarship, said it has been an exciting experience working in a truly international workplace with colleagues from all over the world.
“My experience here has presented a unique opportunity to see international dispute resolution from the perspective of the decision-makers,” Sarah said.
“It has certainly provided an interesting contrast to my experience working in the Australian Government on an international case.
“I now have a greater understanding of the procedures involved in international arbitration, and the role of counsel and arbitral tribunals, which will be incredibly useful when I return to government.”
Sarah said the Fellowship had also given her opportunities to learn more about how the broader processes of the Court, and how it interacts with other jurisdictions.
“Sharing a building with the International Court of Justice and living in The Hague makes it possible to meet - and learn from - people working at other international courts and tribunals in this ‘City of International Peace, Justice and Security’.”
As Assistant Legal Counsel, Sarah said she was involved in a diverse range of tasks, including judging teams participating in international mooting competitions to giving presentations about the Court, to working with a colleague to draft the Court’s contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s report on oceans and the Law of the Sea.
“I have prepared research memos on the interpretation of a treaty provision and drafted other short notes addressing various international legal questions.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to draft correspondence to parties in particular arbitrations, and edited, proofread and cite‑checked documents for publications and conferences as well as for cases,” Sarah said.
The ANU College of Law Permanent Court of Arbitration Scholarship is open to current students and recent graduates (within the past five years) of the ANU College of Law. Applications are due by Friday 10 August 2016.
BY LYN LARKIN