News Item

April 2015

VUW Conference - Law and Trade with Latin America

Conference – Common Grounds: Nueva Zelanda y América Latina – Una Perspectiva Jurídica


This two-day conference will provide an opportunity to gain an understanding of Latin America’s commercial and trade laws within an economic and cultural context. It aims to share knowledge about the legal system and legal culture (in Latin America) that will help New Zealand further its political and commercial connections with countries in this region.

For New Zealand, building relationships with Latin American countries is important for nurturing future trade. It has much to offer; it is a fast growing and economically dynamic region with a very large population.

Dr Petra Butler, conference organiser and Associate Professor of Law at VUW, says “The Latin American legal culture is very powerful, very elaborate and highly developed. Mexico and Brazil are two of the largest and most creative Civil Law jurisdictions in the world. It is essential that NZ businesses and their advisers have some understanding of the complex bilateral and multilateral relations Latin American countries have with each other, and of Latin America’s position in international trade law.”

The Law Foundation is funding the keynote speaker Pablo Fajardo who is well known for representing the inhabitants of the Lago Agrio region in the case in the Ecuadorian courts against Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Corporation (re environmental damage caused by Texaco’s oil exploration).

Conference speakers include international arbitrators, economic historians, and academics with legal expertise in international law, constitutional law, human rights law, administrative law and comparative law. They all come from Latin American countries: Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador and Argentina.

The conference is expected to attract lawyers in practice, business people and government representatives.

At the end of the conference a trade panel comprised of New Zealand Government, trade specialists, and conference panel presenters will discuss how trade between New Zealand and Latin American countries can be fostered.

Further information will be posted here and on the VUW Faculty of Law web site as it comes available.

Law Foundation is providing up to $10,000 towards bringing speakers Pablo Fajardo and Adrianna Braghetta