The Fiji Law Society and IBA's annual Convention
13 September 2019
The Fiji Law Society, in association with the International Bar Association (IBA), held its annual Convention in Nadi 6 – 7 September 2019.
This Convention held particular interest for the Law Council, as the Law Council had been able to secure the amount of $50,000 through the IBA’s Bar Issues Commission to cover the costs of attendance of representatives of the wider South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA).
Ms Pauline Wright represented the Law Council speaking in two sessions in the Convention and attending the SPLA meetings. SPLA, which was established in 2007 by the IBA in partnership with the Law Council and the New Zealand Law Society, was founded to support developing law societies and bar associations to promote the interests of the legal profession in the South Pacific region. SPLA is comprised of 17 constituent members, and is governed by an Executive, led by Chair Dr Gordon Hughes. The Secretariat of SPLA is hosted by the Law Council.
Due to the absence of a sustainable source of funding through an Australian Aid program, SPLA representatives had been unable to meet face to face since 2015. The representatives were included as speakers within the Fiji Law Society Convention and were able to attend a SPLA Executive Meeting and a SPLA General Meeting during the course of the two days. The meetings showed that access to high quality CLE is in desperate need and discussion turned to the various ways it might be delivered. With the Secretariat, Dr Hughes is working on a list of recommendations to present to the SPLA attendees enlarging on the points made. Further information will be available when the recommendations have been completed.