The Bar Council has signed new agreements to foster closer working with the Bar Associations of Sri Lanka and Guyana, as part of its International Market Access Project, funded by the Ministry of Justice.
The Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) have been negotiated to encourage greater market access and provide professional development and other opportunities.
The MoU with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) seeks to:
- promote the mutual exchange of legal and professional knowledge through exchange visits and meetings;
- cooperate on measures to defend and promote the rule of law; and
- strengthen the abilities and opportunities for members of both Bars to engage in cross-border practice and to provide legal services in each other’s jurisdictions, particularly in the areas of arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution concerning cases of an international nature.
The MoU with the Bar Association of Guyana (BAoG):
- promotes the development of Guyana as an international legal centre, in the context of the discovery of oil and gas in Guyanese territorial waters;
- agrees to examine areas for collaboration and opportunities to increase the existing level of practice rights in each other’s jurisdiction on the basis of reciprocity; and
- commits to cooperating on training and development opportunities and knowledge sharing on professional ethics.
The Bar Council secured funding from the MoJ in 2021 for the two-year International Market Access Project to develop greater access to the Bar in a number of priority jurisdictions, which have been researched and determined by the Bar Council in each continent. Much of the work is also focused on developing international dispute resolution centres (IDRCs).
Commenting, Mark Fenhalls KC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:
“It has been a great honour to sign the MoUs with the Bar Associations of Sri Lanka and Guyana on behalf of the Bar Council of England and Wales.
“We are a truly global profession with a shared commitment to justice and the rule of law. We benefit enormously from greater collaboration across jurisdictions both to strengthen our own practice and share knowledge and good practice.
“I’m delighted that these two agreements have now been signed and look forward to fostering closer relationships with both Associations and developing international opportunities for our respective members.”