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August 2010 - International association remains in good hands
 

Congratulations again to Michael Gill on his elevation to the presidency of the Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances (AIDA), the International Insurance Law Association.

Michael already has begun his work in earnest with a comprehensive report to the AILA board on the XIIIth AIDA World Congress in Paris in June.

He said the significance of insurance and the need for insurers, lawyers and regulators to continue to build on past successful cross-border collaboration were the key messages to take from the Congress.

Staged every four years, the 2010 Congress coincided with AIDA’s 5Oth anniversary. More than 600 legal and insurance practitioners and academics from about 40 countries participated. Australia was well represented by 10 delegates who contributed significantly to the deliberations.

Over four days, discussion centred on how best insurance might serve the task of coping, after the global financial downturn, with the financial and climactic challenges posed among the legacies of more prosperous times.

Professor Marcel Fontaine, of Louvain University Law School, in Belgium, delivered the general report on climate change, one of two main Congress themes, based on answers provided by 22 national chapters to detailed questionnaires. Effects and initiatives concerning environmental and insurance impacts and responses were compared.

The topic’s Australian reporter, Chris Rodd, spoke on one of the identified special topics: Variable impacts according to regions, economic sectors and lines of insurance.

Compulsory insurance was the second main theme. Jerome Kuilmarin, Law Professor at the Paris Dauphine University, led consideration of differences between countries (based on 24 national reports) in their reliance on compulsory insurance to meet social and economic needs. The effect of more economically straightened times was considered, as were how many forms of insurance were increasingly contractually compelled by others, if not by law.

The theme’s Australian reporter was Dallas Booth, who was unable to be present. After being well briefed by Dallas, I spoke on one of the designated special topics: What is the difference between a mandatory insurance requirement laid down by law, by a professional body or systematically by a co-contracting party?

A third major theme introduced for the 2010 Congress was arbitration. The two aspects considered were arbitration and third parties; and recourse against arbitral awards.

Those panel sessions were moderated by Colin Croly (UK) and Ellie Kleiman (France).

AIDA’s 12 working parties also reported during the Congress. Thank you to Australian delegates Mark Radford and William Smith, who participated in panel discussions.

With Michael Gill at the helm for the next two years, I’m confident AIDA will be in good hands. Rome will host the 2014 World Congress.

Adelaide hosts AILA conference

The 2010 National Conference in Adelaide will be a wonderful opportunity to learn, network and socialise. The conference program features three keynote presentations, supported by 10 outstanding Australian and national speakers.

In a year when further amendments to the Insurance Contracts Act are contemplated, the joint recipient of the prestigious US Gruber Justice Prize, Michael Kirby, will consider whether the objectives for reform of the common law in Australia for insurance contracts contemplated 30 years ago have been achieved.

AILA is delighted to have two international speakers from the United Kingdom on the program. Professor Rob Merkin will unravel the complexities of consumer class actions and reinsurance. Kent Chaplin, from Lloyd’s Performance and Management Directorate, will offer an insight into the Lloyds’ philosophy for managing claims.

Other speakers will canvas a spectrum of issues that are relevant and topical to all insurance industry practitioners and professionals, including compliance, legislative changes and implications, through to the challenges presented by the information age. A panel session will unravel the cost of justice, an issue that inevitably impacts on all sectors of the industry.

The National Conference will give delegates the opportunity to relax and catch up in the beautiful surrounds of Adelaide.

I encourage you to register early and enjoy the benefits of the excellent program. I look forward to seeing you in Adelaide.

David McKenna 

AILA President

 
 
 

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