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‘An innovative and progressive set that continues to be instructed in high-profile and often law-defining cases.’Chambers and Partners 2014
Australasia

We have been involved in several high profile cases as counsel for Australia in the International Court of Justice, and worked in other countries across this region.

Timor-Leste v Australia (Permanent Court of Arbitration and ICJ)

Professor James Crawford AC SC is counsel for Australia in this case concerning claims brought by Timor-Leste over the natural resources found in the Timor Sea and the seizure of documents and data by Australia. Two sets of proceedings were instituted, one before the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the other before the International Court of Justice.

Australia v Japan (ICJ)

Professor James Crawford AC SC, Professor Philippe Sands QC and Kate Cook acted as counsel for Australia in this high profile case before the International Court of Justice. The case concerned Japan’s whaling programme in Southern Ocean. Australia argued that their programme was for commercial purposes, or in the alternative not for scientific purposes and its purpose was to maintain Japan’s whaling capacity. In March 2014, the court decided by 10 votes 4 that the Japanese programme was not for the purposes of scientific research and therefore Japan had to redefine their programme if they wanted to continue whaling in Southern Ocean.

West v State of New South Wales

Daniel Squires was involved in this claim arising from the Australian state’s response to the Canberra bush fires in 2003. The fires destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged public infrastructure. This case was part of a group claim against the state, which argued that it owed a duty of care to those affected and had failed to properly control the fires.

Lawyer(s): Daniel Squires QC

Portugal v Australia (ICJ)

Professor James Crawford AC SC acted as counsel for Australia in this high-profile dispute between Portugal and Australia concerning Australia’s activities with respect to East Timor. The court found that the “real dispute” was between Indonesia (of which East Timor is a part) and Portugal, rather than with Australia, and therefore required Indonesia’s consent before it adjudicated on the dispute. It is a leading authority in defining the concept of ‘dispute’ in international law.

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