It was a French affair at Bond University on February 9, as French Minister of Trade the Honourable Christine Lagarde spoke as guest d’honneur at the 6th Annual Gerard Brennan Lecture and Dinner.
In a powerful speech, the Minister spoke of the importance of the rule of law to ensure stability and democracy in a fractured world, saying that it was vital for the institutions and structures of society to be based on a firm legal framework.
Her comments were supported by the Honourable Justice James Douglas of the Supreme Court of Queensland, who also gave an erudite and entertaining speech that included the Trade Minister reciting take-offs of nursery rhymes in old French.
The lecture and dinner was attended by luminaries such as the Honourable Justice Susan Crennan of the High Court
, Queensland’s Attorney General the Honourable Kerry Shine MP, His Excellency Francois Descoueyte, French Ambassador to Australia and Jean-Louis Latour, Senior French Trade Commissioner in Australia.
Ian Kortland, Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Stable, French Minister of Trade the Hon. Christine Lagarde and Dean of Law Professor Duncan Bentley
The Gerard Brennan Lecture and Dinner is the largest event on the Bond Law calendar and was established in 1998 by the staff and students of the School of Law to commemorate the judicial career of Former Chief Justice the Honourable Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE.
In Queensland at the invitation of Bond University, Ms Lagarde also addressed an international Free Trade Agreements conference hosted by Bond University’s Faculty of Law and the Tim Fischer Centre for Global Trade and Finance.
Held at the Holiday Inn, Surfers Paradise, the conference discussed important changes in world trade and looked at the future of free trade agreements and globalisation.
Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University, Professor Duncan Bentley said; "Articulate and inspiring, the Minister added lustre to what was already one of the most illustrious gatherings of trade experts from around the world that Queensland has seen."
"We were very fortunate to have Ms Lagarde as our special guest, not only because of her impeccable credentials as a lawyer, but also because she is one of the most influential movers and shakers in the area of world trade.
"She had a wide range of high profile sceptics of the European Union position at the World Trade talks eating out of her hand," Professor Bentley said.
|French Minister of Trade, the Honourable Christine Lagarde
The conference also heard former Deputy Prime-Minister and current Chair of Tourism Australia, the Honourable Tim Fischer, speak historically of the push to encourage trade to promote world peace.
"It was indeed a proud occasion for the Faculty of Law to have so many people from so many parts of the world here to exchange ideas and engage in stimulating, intellectual conversation," Professor Bentley said.