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Canberra law graduate off to the Hague

A Canberra law graduate has been awarded a prestigious internship with the Hague Conference where he will work to protect children and families from illegal or irregular international adoptions. 

Derek Bayley, a 2014 ANU College of Law graduate, will travel to the Netherlands later this month to spend six months working with the Permanent Bureau of Hague Conference. 

"People these days are inherently cross-border. We fall in love abroad, we get married abroad and we adopt children abroad," Mr Bayley said.

"The Hague Conference is instrumental in putting together legal frameworks that allow the private rights that people enjoy in their own country in issues such as adoption to be recognised internationally."

The law graduate was this year's recipient of the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship award, named in honour of Dr Peter Nygh, an international lawyer and former Family Court of Australia judge. 

The 22-year-old from Canberra said he was really excited about the internship and felt "privileged and honoured" to have been selected to intern at such a prestigious organisation.


Mr Bayley will be helping prepare for an upcoming Special Commission updating the intercountry adoption convention, which aims to ensure international adoption are made in a child's best interests. It also attempts to prevent child abduction and trafficking.

The internship is presented annually by the Australian Institute of International Affairs and the Australian branch of the International Law Association. 

Mr Bayley is the second ANU graduate in succession win the internship.

He said winning the internship was a massive honour. 

"I hope to really take advantage of being identified as being of Dr Nygh's calibre to advance my own career in the conflict of laws," he said.