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Law library, colloquium, dedicated to Chris Beeby

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

5 March 2003 Embargoed until 5pm

Law library, colloquium, dedicated to Chris Beeby

Former diplomat and international jurist Chris Beeby was honoured today when Foreign Minister Phil Goff dedicated a new law library in his name at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Goff also announced the establishment of the annual Beeby Colloquium on International Law. The colloquium (academic seminar) series will be funded by the Ministry and the NZ Branch of the International Law Association.

"Chris Beeby was widely regarded as an exceptional diplomat and one of the best international lawyers of modern times. It is fitting that the Ministry's legal library and the annual colloquium have been dedicated to his memory," Mr Goff said.

"Chris provided outstanding diplomatic service to New Zealand over a 32-year career. After retiring in 1995, he served with distinction on the seven-member World Trade Organisation Appellate Body until his death in 2000.

"Chris' life-long interest was the development of international law. He made notable contributions on the law of the sea, Antarctica, the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, and international environmental law," Mr Goff said.

Mr Beeby was counsel for New Zealand before the International Court of Justice in the Nuclear Tests case (1973-74) and agent for New Zealand in the Rainbow Warrior arbitration (1989-90).

He also participated in a range of United Nations, regional and bilateral negotiations. He was chairman of the Special Consultative Meeting on Antarctic Minerals (1982-88), and served as a mediator in the United States-Canada dispute on implementing the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

“International law has gone from an arcane field to one that touches all New Zealanders – we are now bound by more than 2500 international legal instruments,” Mr Goff said.

“The colloquium will help ensure that international law teaching is developed and encouraged.”


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