Justice Rowan Downing KC

International Jurist, Australian attorney Former Judge, Supreme Court & Court of Appeal in Vanuatu Former Solicitor General, Vanuatu Former Judge, United Nations Dispute Tribunal Part-time President, International Civil Aviation Appeals Board, Montreal

Justice Rowan Downing KC, an Australian attorney with a global presence since 1993, served as a judge on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in Vanuatu from 1993 to 1995 under an Australian Government aid initiative. Operating within six legal systems during this period, he conducted continuing legal education courses for the legal community and implemented novel court procedures for the safeguarding of women and children.

Upon concluding his Vanuatu appointment, Justice Downing returned to the Victorian Bar, where his diverse practice encompassed commercial law, company law, administrative law, employment law, finance and trade law, regulatory law, land law, criminal law, banking law, and human rights law. He actively advised on transnational commercial projects, administrative law, human resources, human rights, and regulatory matters for esteemed entities like the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the United Nations.

Answering the Asian Development Bank's call, he resumed his role in Vanuatu in 1999 as the Solicitor General until 2002, contributing to the development of legal protections against harassment and bullying in various government civil services.

Nominated by Australia in 2006, Justice Downing served as an international judge for the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal within the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia until 2014, focusing on crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In December 2014, he was elected by the UN General Assembly to the bench of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal in Geneva, subsequently presiding as its president in 2016 and 2017. The tribunal handled numerous cases involving harassment, bullying, and discrimination within the context of disciplinary appeals.

Currently, Justice Downing holds the position of part-time president of the International Civil Aviation Appeals Board in Montreal. In addition to his judicial responsibilities, he provides counsel to various Asian and Pacific governments on matters such as the law of the sea, international financing, international telecommunications law and regulation, human rights, governance/anti-corruption issues, and international criminal law. Furthermore, he actively participates in the development of the proposed International Anti-Corruption Court.

With a career spanning 14 countries, Justice Downing's commitment to global justice and legal development is evident.

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Saturday 9th Dec 2023

Role of Judiciary in enforcing Harassment & Discrimination free Society for all