Law Council of Australia


ILS Essay Competition Winner Announced

15 December 2021

The International Law Section (ILS), through its South Pacific Issues Committee, has instigated the holding of an essay competition to promote and encourage studies in international law with a particular focus on the South Pacific region, and with a view to promoting the calibre of lawyers and international legal research in the South Pacific. The winner was announced at the ILS AGM, on 6 December 2021.

The winning entry analysed the constitutional complexities involved in the requirement for ratification by the PNG government of Bougainville’s overwhelming referendum result in favour of regional autonomy. The judges were impressed by the originality of the author’s approach to the subject, and the clarity with which complicated and intertwined issues were addressed.

The essay succinctly navigated and explained the converging issues of international treaty obligations, human rights, cultural identity, self-determination, constitutional law and conflict resolution. In this process, the essay touched upon history, politics, mining rights, the environment and civil conflict, and also made reference to the role of women as agents for peace.

The essay contained recommendations for advancing and resolving the issues, including the role which can be played by Australia and the United Nations. 

2021 Winner - Elizabeth Tomscoll

Elizabeth is a third-year undergraduate student, currently interning at Kubak and Kubak Barristers and Solicitors in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Her accumulated legal research and studies over the years have influenced and developed her interests in international laws and principles and their real-world application. Born and raised in Papua New Guinea but studied extensively in Australia, Elizabeth has been exposed to the implementation and enforcement of the legal system locally and internationally. She aspires to work towards the free exercise of rights in the South Pacific with zero barriers to access of justice in PNG in the future. Elizabeth hopes to continue her international law studies and gain exposure to the changing legal climate in order to build a positive legal identity.


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