NADEL to host International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in South Africa

February 11th, 2020
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(Front row centre) The President of the National Democratic Association of Lawyers (NADEL) and the Law Society of South Africa, Mvuzo Notyesi, with the President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Grace Saguinsin, and delegates of the IADL, NADEL and the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association. The 18th Congress of the IADL, which will be held in Johannesburg in November, was discussed at the meeting.

By Kgomotso Ramotsho

The President of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) and the Law Society of South Africa, Mvuzo Notyesi, together with the President of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association, Max Boqwana, hosted a meeting with the President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Grace Saguinsin, on 23 January to discuss the 18th Congress of the IADL that will be held in Johannesburg in November.

Mr Notyesi said that the world today is a more dangerous place than before, adding that it poses a serious challenge for progressive legal practitioners and members of organisations, such as NADEL and the IADL, to ensure that there is a strong voice in the legal profession. He pointed out that speaking in one voice can be achieved when legal practitioners around the world come together at a congress to discuss how they can contribute to ‘saving the world’. Mr Notyesi added that the world is at a stage where every pillar and objective of democracy that was fought for is being destroyed and where all the gains that have been made until now are on the verge of collapse.

Mr Notyesi said NADEL was pleased at the level that its members have represented it at the IADL. A number of developments are taking place and there has been strong support in ensuring that the voice of progressive legal practitioners across countries, particularly from South Africa (SA), is heard. He added that he hopes the congress will give new direction to the world.

Ms Saguinsin said that she was excited to be in Johannesburg to plan the upcoming congress. She added that she wanted NADEL and the IADL to work in conjunction for the freedom struggle in SA. She pointed out she was invited to a conference in the Western Cape in 1991, and at that conference the question of establishing a Constitution was addressed. She added that the conference was so inspiring, that one of the members who attended that conference later became a Constitutional Court judge. It was pointed out at the conference that they were writing a Constitution – not only for themselves at that time – but for generations to follow, and the Constitution was to embody the spirit of the liberation struggle.

Ms Saguinsin mentioned that in 1996 she attended an IADL congress in Cape Town, where late President Nelson Mandela was a guest speaker. She added that President Mandela said that the IADL had been instrumental in the freedom struggle, that if the IADL had not existed, they would have to create it. She pointed out that it was important to hear that the role of progressive legal practitioners across the world and solidarity was important and that the IADL, which was founded in 1946, played a major role in helping to deal with crime against humanity, which is an important thing.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.