The Cape Town Convention Academic Project, a joint venture between the Universities of Oxford and Washington, runs an annual conference as part of its activities. The fourth conference was held on 8th and 9th September 2015, at the Andrew Wiles Mathematical Institute in Oxford, with accommodation and a dinner at Harris Manchester College.
This was the largest conference ever, with over 105 registrations, and a wide range of papers and lively discussion. Since the Convention, which enables the cost of financing high value equipment to be reduced by providing for an international security interest which is registrable in an International Register, has just been registered by the UK, there was considerable interest in the conference from UK firms and financiers. However, the conference remained as international as ever, with delegates from North, South and Central America, the Far and Middle East and Europe.
The papers at the conference covered a wide variety of topics, and were given and commented on by a mixture of academics, practitioners and public organisations. Some sessions examined the relationship between the Convention regime and other law, including sanctions, local procedural law and the Geneva Convention. There was a discussion of the distinction between public and private law and its importance, with particular reference to the Convention, of legal opinions and of the draft mining, agricultural and construction protocol. The conference started with an update on the process in the UK for ratification of the CTC.
Only half of each session was taken up with the papers and comments, and there was time for a great deal of lively discussion. Many of those involved in the negotiations for the Convention attend the conference, together with many who have achieved or hope to achieve expertise in the area as practitioners and academics. The conference makes an important contribution to the development of learning about the Convention and its application and use.
Several of the delegates at the conference were present at the 2001 diplomatic conference at which the Cape Town Convention was signed. An account of that conference is available here.