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Legal Agendas - legal conferences

At CPE Legal Conferences, our mission is twofold - to deliver high quality academic content from Australian and International Legal Specialists and to provide access to experts local to the conference destination. Our longstanding tradition has been to push the delegates’ educational boundaries by exploring the conference destination not only through travel, but also through its political and legal environment.

A bulk of the academic content at these legal conferences consists of leading Australian Judges, QCs, Barristers and Solicitors presenting on their area of expertise.


On our academic agenda from past legal conferences, your fellow Legal Practitioners have said...

CPE Legal Conferences have it all down to a fine art and set the bench for others to follow
— Solicitor, New South Wales, Whistler 2018
One of the best academic programs at a legal conference!
— Barrister, Victoria - Rhine River 2017
One of the best presented legal conferences I’ve been on
— Solicitor, Western Australia - Whistler 2018

At these legal conferences, in addition to this we also arrange field activities. Some examples include: visit to the International Criminal Court, the Hague in Amsterdam (2017), including a lecture from a defence advocate for Gaddafi’s son. We visited the OECD hosted by a Legal Analyst (Paris, 2015). In New York we regularly attend court and speak with & get a briefing from the presiding judge and we heard from the International Law Committee of the NYC Bar Association on the role of Foreign Policy in the 2016 Election. In Rome (2017) we visited the Parliamentary Senate of Italy and heard from an Italian Senator. In South Africa (2018) we had a seminar at Constitution Hill Johannesburg where the Constitutional Court is located and also visited the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, in 2018 we attended question time in the UK Parliament amid all the Brexit controversy. In London we saw an original of the Magna Carta and got a briefing from an historian. Others include listening to the heart-breaking testimony of one of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo whose grandchild was stolen by the Argentinian military regime and talking to a survivor of the Terezin concentration camp outside Prague, events which make us eye witnesses to history.


Our academic content at these legal conferences doesn’t shy away from controversy. Over the past few years, we have heard from the following; a political commentator in Buenos Aires (2015), a board member of Dignitas in St Moritz (2017) and the Director of Exit International in Amsterdam (2017) (Associations which advocate for choice in end of life care and euthanasia). Human rights and international law are also prominent features of our agendas. In Paris (2015), we heard from the President of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontierès (Doctors without Borders), political dissidents in Cuba (2015), a policy chief for UN Peacekeeping Operations in New York (2015) and in St Petersburg (2014) we went to a memorial and had a lecture from a history professor on the Stalin purges.


At these legal conferences, We often have a briefing with the Australian Ambassadors (or other diplomats) to the hosting country (Havana 2015, Buenos Aires 2015, Stockholm 2016, Santiago 2017, Rome 2017 & the UN[NYC 2019]).

We hear from Professors of local Universities such as University College London, University College Dublin, University of Buenos Aires, University of British Columbia and University of Milano-Bicocca and senior judges from courts in Italy, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA.


Another aspect of our legal conference agendas at varying locations includes presentations and Field Trips to other important institutions that do not fit a conventional academic agenda but nonetheless essential broader professional education. In Stockholm (2016), we visited the Nobel Museum and arranged a private workshop entitled ‘Spark of Creativity’ and visited the Kirby Psychiatric Centre in New York (2017) or in Marrakesh a briefing by the North African Reuters bureau chief on African politics.


The legal conference destinations often take people off the beaten track, and our academic agendas also reflect this from an intellectual standpoint. This unique approach has been appreciated by delegates over the decades as it has provided access to academic experiences that they would not have otherwise had in a standard conference environment.

At the risk of being too comprehensive here is a list of institutions, courts and other bodies we have connected with at the legal conferences on a direct level over the years:

UK Supreme Court, Venice International Arbitration Court, Court of Appeal, Rome & Venice, Arbitral Council of the Chamber of National & International Arbitration, Milan, trial judges in the UK, USA & Italy, American Arbitration Association, NZ Employment Court, Canadian Court of Appeal, US Federal Appeal Court, Republic of Ireland Supreme Court, International Court of Justice & the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, State Criminal Court, San Francisco, the Minhang District Peoples Court Shanghai, High Court of Pakistan plus judges and magistrates of various intermediate courts. Judges from many Australian jurisdictions at every level (including the High Court) have given papers. Briefings were held at the Parliament of Ireland with the Attorney General and the Senate & House of Representatives of Italy with parliamentary representatives (where the President of the Senate formally welcomed us to the chamber in session). Our Ambassadors have regularly given briefings to delegates as have representatives of various UN bodies & international formal and non-government organisations like the OECD, UNHCR, UNWRA, FAO, World Trade Organisation, World Intellectual Property Organisation, Human Rights Watch, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Stockholm) etc.

 To provide such diversity in our legal conference academic agendas, and particularly to enable us to provide unique local experiences, we do not publish the academic agenda in advance. Often local presenters are unable to commit to a specific session time months in advance. We believe (and indeed our feedback reflects) that the local presenters and field trips add immeasurable value to the academic experience and as such we want to preserve our ability to include the local experts. The academic agenda is released on the day of Welcome Drinks, the day before the first academic sessions.