At CPE 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 consists of leading Australian Judges, QCs, Barristers and Solicitors presenting on their area of expertise.
On our academic agenda from past conferences, your fellow Legal Practitioners have said...
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. We have visited the OECD hosted by a Legal Analyst (Paris, 2015). In New York (2016), we attended a Jury selection and heard from the International Law Committee of the NYC Bar Association on the role of Foreign Policy in the 2016 Election. In 2017 in New York we visited a Federal District Court in session which included briefing from a US Judge. 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.
Our academic content doesn’t shy away from controversy. Over the past few years, we have heard from the following; a past political opposition leader 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.
We often arrange a briefing with the Australian Ambassadors (or other diplomats) to the hosting country (Havana 2015, Buenos Aires 2015, Stockholm 2016, Santiago 2017 and Rome 2017). During these discussions, the academic focus is on the current political climate, and an analysis of the legal context of the country of their posting and how that differs from Australia.
We often 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 agendas at varying locations includes presentations and Field Trips to other important institutions that do not fit a conventional academic agenda but nonetheless appeal to the worldly lifelong learner. 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).
The 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.
To provide such diversity in our 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.