The Bar Association of Sri Lanka officially announced that Sri Lanka has been selected to host the LAWASIA 2016 Golden Jubilee Conference at a glamorous event which was held at the Cinnamon Grand recently.
The conference is scheduled to be held in Colombo from 12-15 August 2016.
This is the third occasion that Sri Lanka will be hosting this prestigious conference, having initially hosted it in 1979 and then again in 1993.
Speaking at the function, Bar Association of Sri Lanka President Geoffrey Alagaratnam, PC, expressed his deep appreciation to LAWASIA for the trust and confidence placed in the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in awarding the privilege of hosting the LAWASIA Conference in 2016. He assured LAWASIA that that Bar would do everything in its power to ensure that LAWASIA 2016 was meaningful, relevant and a resounding success.
LAWASIA President Prashant Kumar stated that it is opportune for LAWASIA to hold its golden jubilee celebrations in Sri Lanka, which is a jurisdiction which has just celebrated the best of the values of democracy and the Rule of Law.
He also stated that it is befitting that LAWASIA which stands for the Rule of Law, the promotion of Democracy, promotion of the independence of the judiciary and the judicial profession, celebrates its golden jubilee in Sri Lanka.
The Chairman of LAWASIA – Sri Lanka 2016 Committee, Upul Jayasuriya while speaking stated that in Sri Lanka, prior to 8 January, much pressure was being brought upon the judiciary by the Government at the time, the rule of law was in shambles, the independence of the judiciary was heavily compromised and it was an era when even the Attorney General was dictated to by the Executive. He stated that he was happy and proud that the Bar in Sri Lanka was resilient and led civil society without fear in ensuring that change took place.
He also stated that it was in this backdrop that the LAWASIA Executive Committee decided to hold the golden jubilee celebrations in Sri Lanka and he assured that Sri Lanka would host an unforgettable conference and provide a magnificent experience for all those slated to participate.
The Convenor of the LAWASIA – Sri Lanka 2016 Committee Rajeev Amarasuriya stated that this event marked the official beginning of an eight-month-long journey, which will culminate in the much-looked-forward-to LAWASIA Sri Lanka 2016 golden jubilee conference and celebrations.
He also stated that this was a special occasion for the whole of Sri Lanka which has been vested with the responsibility of hosting this premier international legal conference in the golden jubilee year. He thanked corporate partners Tokyo Cement, Bank of Ceylon, MAS Holdings, Dialog Axiata, SriLankan Airlines and Aitken Spence for already pledging support to partner this important event.
The official logo for the golden jubilee conference was also launched at this function, which was attended by a distinguished gathering comprising judges, ministers, office bearers of LAWASIA and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and senior members of the profession.
LAWASIA is an international organisation of lawyers’ associations, individual lawyers, judges, legal academics and others which focuses on the interests and concerns of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific region.
The governing body, the LAWASIA Council, is comprises representatives of the apex legal representative bodies in 25 countries. As such, its policies and agenda directly address issues confronting the profession throughout the region.
LAWASIA also has over 1,500 individual members from over 50 countries who have the opportunity to contribute directly to LAWASIA activities through participation in the governance structure.
Through its linkage to over 40 member organisations, LAWASIA has exposure to a collective membership of over 1 million lawyers worldwide. This broad network facilitates relationships in the legal community across the region.