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PH, Australia host bilateral legal consultations

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The Philippines and Australia has conducted Bilateral Legal Consultations which provided a platform for the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to exchange views on international law issues and share best practices, while exploring areas of possible collaboration.

The talks, which was held on March 13, were hosted by the DFA Office of Legal Affairs in close coordination with the DFA Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs.

“In today’s modern age of diplomacy, as diplomatic strategies continue to evolve, the law remains to be an enduring element of the conduct of foreign relations, whether in bilateral or multilateral settings. Thus, the role of the legal adviser remains central in steering the formulation

Members of the Australian delegation: (from left) Rori Moyo, Michael Googan, Joshua House, Head of Delegation James Larsen, Jamie Cooper, and the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely; (from left) members of the Philippine delegation–Head of Delegation Assistant Secretary J. Eduardo Malaya of DFA-OLA, Lt. Col. Julius Agdeppa of the AFP, Atty. Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena of DFA-OUP, Atty. Edward Esquivias of the AFP, Director Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa of DFA-UNIO, and Dir. Bryan Jess Baguio of DFA-ASPAC

and implementation of foreign policy in a direction that is aligned with the State’s legal commitments,” said DFA Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs and Philippine delegation head J. Eduardo Malaya. Assistant Secretary Malaya welcomed the delegates and underscored the key role of the legal adviser in foreign policy formation.


The Philippine delegation was composed of officials from the DFA, the Department of National Defense, and other government agencies.

James Larsen, Chief Legal Officer at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, headed the six-person Australian delegation.

“We welcome the opportunity to consult with the Philippines on the legal issues that face our countries and our ministries. The recent Australian Foreign Policy White Paper reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to supporting the international rules-based order. Our meeting today allowed productive discussions with a close bilateral partner and member of Asean,” said Larsen.

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