22 November 2012
Belfast Hosts 30Th Anniversary of United Nations Convention
Law Society House in the centre of Belfast is the venue for a unique conference taking place to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ("UNCLOS").
The two day conference is being hosted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in conjunction with the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
UNCLOS, often referred to as "the Constitution of the Sea", now has over 160 States and is the legal framework for all matters concerning the world's oceans, including navigation, piracy, maritime jurisdictional boundaries, continental shelf, living and mineral resources and protection of the marine environment.
The two day conference will analyse the development of UNCLOS in its first 30 years and look ahead to the challenges of the future.
Distinguished speakers and guests from around the world will be attending the conference and a special reception to be held at the new Titanic building in Belfast which recognises the Maritime history of Belfast.
Speaking ahead of the conference the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Mrs Imelda McMillan said;
“The Law Society is delighted to be working with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in hosting this important event marking the signing of UNCLOS. We particularly would like to welcome the distinguished international delegates and guests to Belfast. The UNCLOS event reflects the growing interest in Belfast and Northern Ireland as a location for international conferences and legal tourism”.
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The conference will take place at Law Society House in Northern Ireland and will bring together prominent UK and international experts in the field.
· Jill Barrett, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
· Professor Alan Boyle, University of Edinburgh and Essex Court Chambers
· David H Anderson CMG, Former Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
· Professor Robin Churchill, University of Dundee
· Stephen Fietta, Volterra Fietta
· Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Queen Mary, University of London
· Professor David Freestone, Sargasso Sea Alliance and George Washington University, USA
· Professor Maria Gavouneli, University of Athens, Greece
· Professor Shotaro Hamamoto, University of Kyoto, Japan
· Dr Marie Jacobsson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, UN International Law Commission and University of Lund
· Professor Zou Keyuan, University of Central Lancashire
· Professor David M Ong, Nottingham Trent University
· Professor Nilufer Oral, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
· Professor Catherine Redgwell, University College London
· The Honourable Mr Justice Weatherup, High Court of Northern Ireland
· Chris Whomersley, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
· Sir Michael Wood KCMG, 20 Essex Street Chambers and UN International, Law Commission
· Samuel Wordsworth, Essex Court Chambers
About the Law Society of Northern Ireland
· The Law Society of Northern Ireland was established by Royal Charter in 1922.
· It has an elected Council of 30 solicitors and a staff headed by its Chief Executive, Alan Hunter.
· As well as having a Royal Charter, Parliament has given the Society powers as set in the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.
· The Society is a professional body, which is charged with matters of discipline, education and regulation of practising solicitors in Northern Ireland. The Society regulates the profession in the public interest.
· Regulation of solicitors includes the annual issue of a Practising Certificate to each solicitor. This certificate entitles the solicitor to hold himself or herself out as a solicitor entitled to practice in Northern Ireland.
· The Society has a dedicated department, which handles complaints by clients against solicitors.
· The Society runs Continuing Professional Development seminars for its members on an ongoing basis.
· The Society has a very well stocked Law Library available to its members with highly qualified library staff. This stocks major legal textbooks, law reports and periodicals and is fully equipped with a modern computerised information system.
· The Society contributes to draft legislation and frequently comments on proposed changes to the law including the impact of the changes on solicitors, their clients and the community.