LSSA meets Brazilian and Chinese delegations as part of its BRICS Legal Forum agenda

September 30th, 2015
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Compiled by Barbara Whittle

At the end of 2014 then LSSA Co-chairperson, Max Boqwana, represented the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) at the first BRICS Legal Forum in Brasilia, Brazil and signed the Brasilia Declaration, which outlines cooperation among the legal communities of the BRICS countries. Building on this initial contact, the LSSA hosted representatives of the Brazilian Bar Association and the China Law Society earlier this year.

Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) Co-chairpersons Busani Mabunda (left) and Richard Scott (right) sign a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the LSSA with Brazilian Bar Association representative, Saul Tourinho Leal, in Pretoria in August this year.

Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) Co-chairpersons Busani Mabunda (left) and Richard Scott (right) sign a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the LSSA with Brazilian Bar Association representative, Saul Tourinho Leal, in Pretoria in August this year.

LSSA Co-chairpersons, Busani Mabunda and Richard Scott met with the representative of the Brazilian Bar Association in South Africa, Saul Tourinho Leal, in August in Pretoria and signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations for mutual support and exchange of information. The Co-chairpersons paid a courtesy visit to the Brazilian Bar Association in September and Mr Mabunda will be attending the annual general meeting of the Brazilian Bar Association in November this year.

Also in August, the LSSA held two meetings with representatives of the profession in China. LSSA Co-chairperson Richard Scott chaired a meeting between LSSA representatives and academics from the East China University of Political Science and Law, which is organising the second BRICS Legal Forum to be held in Shanghai, China in October. The LSSA will be represented at the Forum by Co-chairperson Busani Mabunda and council members Krish Govender and David Bekker.

From left: David Bekker, Krish Govender and Co-chairperson Richard Scott represented the LSSA at a meeting in Pretoria with Prof Du Zhichun (centre) and Prof Xia Fei (right) from the East China University of Political Science and Law, which is organising the second BRICS Legal Forum to be held in Shanghai in October. Also pictured is LSSA Chief Executive Officer, Nic Swart (back) and Prof Rushiella Songca, Executive Dean of the Unisa College of Law.

From left: David Bekker, Krish Govender and Co-chairperson Richard Scott represented the LSSA at a meeting in Pretoria with Prof Du Zhichun (centre) and Prof Xia Fei (right) from the East China University of Political Science and Law, which is organising the second BRICS Legal Forum to be held in Shanghai in October. Also pictured is LSSA Chief Executive Officer, Nic Swart (back) and Prof Rushiella Songca, Executive Dean of the Unisa College of Law.

The Co-chairpersons also met, later in August, with the Bao Shaokun, Vice President and Secretary-General of China Law Society and other delegates in Sandton to discuss arrangements for the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in Cape Town in November, as well as developments around the China-Africa Joint Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

The objectives of the Brasilia Declaration

In order to foster and develop cooperation among the legal professions in the BRICS countries, the signatories to the Brasilia Declaration listed the objectives of the BRICS Legal Forum as follows:

  • To promote legal diplomacy, bring together the legal communities of the BRICS member states for closer cooperation, and promote exchange of legal theory and practice.
  • To use and develop law as an instrument of social change for development, as well as for building cooperation among the peoples of the BRICS nations, facilitate BRICS cooperation mechanisms, and explore more international space for the development of BRICS nations.
  • To make joint efforts for the reinforcement and strengthening of the rule of law, social, economic and human rights.
  • To cooperate in advancing the status of legal professionals, in developing the legal profession and the scope of its activities and in strengthening the activities of the legal profession and the judiciary in the BRICS countries.
  • To interact with international legal associations worldwide for the purpose of advancing the objectives mentioned in the declaration.

Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa, barbara@lssa.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2015 (Oct) DR 22.

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