Lawyers urged to embrace international treaties

The Commonwealth solicitor-general has urged Australian lawyers to handle legal issues with Australia’s international treaty obligations in mind.

Justin Gleenson SC who is also the current Commonwealth Solicitor-General, came out strongly and underscored the importance of solving everyday legal issues using Australia’s treaty obligations. While speaking to Aussie Lawyer Blog in regards to his statement, Mr Gleenson emphasised that the nation’s treaty agreements played a big role when it came to legal-problem solving. “However, often times it is left to the expertise of diplomats and that shouldn’t be the case,” said Mr. Gleenson.

He added that the Australian courts have been increasingly active in implementing and applying international treaties although it sometimes gets presented as domestic statutes. The law school offered limited opportunities for students to learn about the importance of treaties in Australia’s legal order. He said that the students missed a lot of knowledge since the nation is now looking forward to internationalising Australian law.

Mr. Gleenson stated that there has been an average of 31.8 or further 2,232 amending or original treaties that the nation has entered since World War II. He added that the Australian law schools should consider including the treaty-making sector in their curricula since it has not always been featured closely.

There is a wide variety of subjects covered in the Australia’s treaty obligations including human rights, public health, the environment, and international commerce. Hence it was important for all law students to grasp the contextual understanding of Australia’s international treaty obligations. Lawyers must also the key principles of treaty application and interpretation. Australia is a nation that is well-known for its spirit of internationalism.

Mr. Gleenson explained that one may need to apply the special rules of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties especially in cases where a body material may be examined in interpretation. Lawyers nowadays realise that they need the understanding of international law and principles for interpretation of the treaties. “This is important in solving Australian cases when lawyers present them as counsel and even when the judges decide them,” said Mr. Gleenson.

Written by Joseph Craig

Joseph Craig is a writer, blogger, legal researcher and best-selling author of dozens of technology, law, digital marketing and self-development books and courses. You can contact him at josephcraigwrites@gmail.com

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