More than 200 legal practitioners from BRICS countries have signed a declaration solidifying their shared commitment to collaborate in legal cooperation.
The VIII BRICS Legal Forum, organized by the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), was held in Johannesburg on December 8 and 9, 2023.
The Forum included a plenary session and eight-panel discussions that focused on various topics such as fostering a new global economic order, dispute resolution, tax and company law, intellectual property, sustainable development goals, investments, and infrastructure projects.
Representatives from other African countries were also invited.
More than 10 speakers from Russia participated in the discussion, and the Russian delegation was led by Sergey Stepashin, Chairman of the Association of Lawyers of Russia.
The Russian delegation consisted of representatives from the Association’s governing bodies, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, prominent law educational institutions, and experts in arbitration, corporate law, and intellectual property rights.
“We are witnessing the historic BRICS expansion and changing global geopolitical situation. Thus, the alliance has entered the new phase of its development. We certainly stand for the formation of the multipolar order, based on the principles of justice, diversity, mutual respect and balance of interests, as well as the international law in line with the cornerstone principles of the UN Charter, including the respect for each other’s sovereignty and the right of each nation to its own model of development. After all, our countries are basically multinational and multiconfessional,” said Stepashin.
After reviewing the forum’s outcomes, the heads of the delegations came together to sign The Johannesburg Declaration.
“The Legal Forum is committed to fostering the Rule of Law in BRICS countries, whilst supporting the development and growth of our collective societies, which are built on the foundation of fairness, equality and an inclusive worldview,” the declaration reads.
Eunice Masipa, the President of the LSSA, highlighted the significance of South Africa’s membership in BRICS. She also emphasized the crucial role that lawyers from the five nations play in ensuring the population’s access to social benefits and enhancing the legal regulation of the climate agenda.
The founders of the BRICS Legal Forum include the Brazilian Bar Association, the Association of Lawyers of Russia, the Bar Association of India, the China Law Society, the LSSA, the East China University of Political Science and Law, and the University of Cape Town.
The forum has been held annually since 2014, rotating between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, depending on the host country.
The Association of Lawyers of Russia will be hosting the next IX BRICS Legal Forum in Moscow in 2024.