An organisation to promote the professional development of Pacific lawyers and strengthen law and justice in the region has been established.
The South Pacific Lawyers Association (SPLA) was launched yesterday (10 July) at the Pacific Young Lawyers' Forum, held in Sydney as part of this week's Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting (CLMM) which starts today and continues until Thursday 14 June.
The SPLA was established in partnership with the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and the New Zealand Law Society to assist developing law societies and bar associations and to promote the interests of the legal profession in the South Pacific.
"The SPLA seeks to develop collegiality amongst lawyers in the South Pacific and works closely with members to promote the administration of justice and the development and improvement of law throughout the region," said SPLA chair Ross Ray QC. "We have a committed body of members and will be working towards an active agenda in the coming years to further build upon the strong foundation we have already established."
LCA president Alex Ward said some of the key areas of mutual interest between the Australian and South Pacific legal profession include access to justice, maintaining professional standards and legal education.
"It is envisaged the establishment of the SPLA will provide the necessary support structure to be the leading representative body for the legal profession in the South Pacific," said Ward.
The SPLA will hold its first executive meeting on Tuesday 12 July to establish its strategic direction and program for the coming year.