Law graduate off to The Hague

14 January 2015

The Hague Conference is instrumental in putting together legal frameworks that allow the private rights that people enjoy in their own country in issues such as adoption to be recognised internationally.

2014 ANU graduate of the College of Law and College of Social Sciences Derek Bayley has been awarded an internship with the Hague Conference where he will work to help protect children and families from illegal or irregular international adoptions.

Derek said he will be helping prepare for an upcoming Special Commission updating the Intercountry Adoption Convention. The Convention aims to ensure international adoptions are made in the best interests of the child, and to prevent the abduction or traffic of children.

“People these days are inherently cross-border. We fall in love abroad, we get married abroad and we adopt children abroad,” Derek said.

“The Hague Conference is instrumental in putting together legal frameworks that allow the private rights that people enjoy in their own country in issues such as adoption to be recognised internationally.”

Derek travels to The Hague as the 2015 recipient of the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship, an award named after the late Hon Dr Peter Nygh AM, a renowned international lawyer and former judge of the Family Court of Australia.

The internship will see Derek spend six months in the Netherlands working with the Permanent Bureau of Hague Conference, a global organisation that has been meeting since 1893 with the goal of achieving unified private international law.

“Dr Nygh was a talented and highly respected academic in the conflict of laws,” he said.

“To follow in the footsteps of Dr Nygh is a massive honour, and I hope to really take advantage of being identified as being of Dr Nygh’s calibre to advance my own career in the conflict of laws.

“At a time of growing international jurisdictional conflict, The Hague Conference’s aim of progressive unification of legal systems, in the 21st Century, has never been more important.”

The internship is presented annually by the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and the Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA (AB)) and will provide funds to cover the cost of travel and living expenses for Derek.

Derek is the second ANU graduate in succession to win the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship following fellow arts/law graduate Brody Warren in 2014. He leaves for the Netherlands on 24 January 2015.