IALS Annual Symposium: Property Law, Climate Change, Tech Disruption

IALS Annual Symposium: Property Law, Climate Change, Tech Disruption

Climate change and technological developments are presenting challenges to settled principles of property law both personal/moveable and real/immoveable.

This year’s symposium draws together speakers from across the globe to discuss recent property law developments and responses in relation to climate change and technology. The theme will be addressed from three perspectives: (i) Real Property, Climate Change and Sustainability, (ii) Personal Property and Digital Assets, and (iii) Property Law and the Rights of Nature.

Consistent with the aims of the International Association of Legal Science (IALS), the papers and discussions will provide valuable material for developing responses to current challenges confronting property law, governance and regulation. This year’s Symposium coincides with the establishment of the International Science Council’s Regional Focal Point – Asia Pacific and, in recognition of this, an anchor point will be the specific implications of climate change for the peoples of the Pacific Islands.

Established in 1950, the International Association of Legal Science (IALS) aims to promote the development of legal science throughout the world, by using in particular the comparative method, and operates under the auspices of UNESCO and of the International Science Council.

Keynote speaker: Professor Sjef van Erp, President of the International Association of Legal Science.

Professor van Erp is head of the private law department at the University of Amsterdam and Emeritus Professor of Civil Law and European Private Law at Maastricht University (the Netherlands). He was Vice-President of the European Law Institute (Vienna) and is currently President of the International Association of Legal Science (Paris),Vice-President of the International Institute for Justice Excellence (The Hague), co-founder and Advisory Editor (until 2014: Editor-in-Chief) of the European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance (continuation of the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law), co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the European Property Law Journal, Editor-in-Chief of the Ius Commune casebook “Property Law”. Professor van Erp is titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He is Deputy Justice at the Court of Appeals of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands), past President and Honorary Member of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association. currently Director of the Private Law Department of the University of Amsterdam Law School, emeritus professor of the University of Maastricht, President of the International Association of Legal Science.

The Symposium will conclude with the Symposium Dinner and a guest lecture delivered by Dr Egils Levits, former President of the Republic of Latvia, former judge of the European Court of Justice and of the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Dinner date and time: 24 November at 6:30pm
  • Dinner venue: National Museum of Australia


Organized by the International Association of Legal Science, UNESCO, and the ANU Centre for European Studies with the support of the International Law Section, Law Council of Australia, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Australia and Pacific Regional Office, International Science Council Regional Focal Point for Asia and the Pacific.

Date & time

Thu 23 Nov 2023, 9am – Fri 24 Nov 2023, 10pm


Moot Court, College of Law, 6 Fellows Rd, ANU, Acton, 2601


Professor Sjef van Erp, University of Amsterdam
Professor Rebecca Monson, The Australian National University
Ms Cynthia Houniuhi, President of the Island Students Fighting for Climate Change
Dr Jasper Verstappen, University of Groningen
Dr Ruona Qi, Wuhan University/Duke University
Dr Wenting Cheng, The Australian National University
Professor (em) Murray Raff, University of Canberra
Associate Professor Jason Grant Allen, Singapore Management University
Associate Professor Daniel Bonilla, Universidad de los Andes
Ms Anne McNaughton, Director of Centre for European Studies, The Australian National University




Updated:  20 November 2023/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications