Recently, Justin Dowd and Jackie Vincent, two of our partners here at Watts McCray, attended the 5th LawAsia conference on Family Law and Children's Rights. The conference was held in Japan from the 3rd to the 5th of July 2014.
The conference focused on a range of cross border family law and children's rights issues including discussion on dispute resolution, trafficking, visitation rights and more. The conference was an example of LawAsia's mission: to encourage and facilitate interaction between members in the Asia-Pacific legal community and provide cross-border education. The conference was also a way of working towards the aim of a borderless community for international families that focuses on the needs of children.
As such, Jackie Vincent and Justin Dowd were both delighted to speak and be involved as moderators and chairs at the conference. Jackie and Justin were among speakers such as David Hodson from the International family law Group based in London, who are also one of Watts McCray's closest international partners. Jackie spoke on the topic of cross border enforcement of spousal and child support and pre and post nuptial agreement.
As a member of the Executive Committee of LawAsia, Justin spoke at the opening of the Conference, welcoming delegates from many countries, including members of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In addition, Justin moderated a session on Sharia and its influence across different jurisdictions in the context of family law and moderated a mock mediation session. Within the mock mediation session, the delegates were shown a Mediation film which was made in co-operation with the Family Court of Australia and featured Watts McCray members Maurice Edwards, Jackie Vincent, Michael Todd and Justin Dowd, as well as other leading Australia family lawyers.
Aside from the speeches and the mock mediations and discussions, the delegates had the opportunity to visit the Sapporo Family Court on a tour. This provided the delegates with an opportunity to compare and contrast the atmospheres and environments of the family court between Japan and their home nations; a valuable experience for all.
Ultimately, the conference was an invaluable experience for all delegates because it provided an unrivalled environment for networking and facilitated discussion and learning on issues that are important for the continued coexistence of diverse legal systems.
Watts McCray would like to thank the City of Sapporo, Japan for hosting the event and LawAsia for organizing it and making the event possible.