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NEWSLETTER
ISSUE NO.7/03 11 JULY 2003
Phone: 3315690 Fax: 3314334
Email: fls@connect.com.fj & fls1@connect.com.fj

Fiji Law Society Convention - 1/8/2003, Shangri-La Fijian Resort, Yanuca Island

The Fiji Law Society Convention was a great success. Congratulations to the Chairman of the Conference, Mr Graham Leung and the Organising Committee. Highlights of the Convention included the Award of the Young Lawyer of the Year which went to Sole Practitioner, Ms Prem Narayan, Congratulations!. The prize was a Computer Notebook donated by Hewlett Packard. Congratulations also to the winners of the Vodafone promotions. They were Magistrate Madam Salote Kaimacuata who won a Nokia 3650 digital camera mobilefone worth $1400 and Ms. Shayne Sorby of Howards who won a mobilefone worth $299.

Refunds

Those Members who are entitled for refunds, your vouchers are being processed. The Secretariat will be in touch with you shortly.

Convention Papers

Convention papers for the Convention were emailed to all members on Tuesday, 5 August 2003.

FLS Merchandise

The following Fiji Law Society merchandise are on sale:

  • Silver BallPoint Pens $20.00
  • Neck Ties $35.00
  • Sulus $15.00
  • Polo T-Shirts (small) $20.00
  • Cap (blue) or $20.00
  • (white & green)

Members who are interested in purchasing the above-mentioned items, may contact the Secretariat

3. Election of Interim Committee for the Formation of a Women Lawyers Association.

A meeting of women lawyers in Suva was held on Friday, 8th August 2003 which saw the election of the following persons to the Interim Executive Committee (IEC). They are:

  1. Ms Gwendolyn Karen Phillips - President
  2. Ms Alofa Aiva Seruvatu - Vice-President
  3. Ms. Barbara Malimali - Secretary/Treasurer
  4. Ms. Anuleshni Neelta - Council Member
  5. Ms. Natasha Khan - Council Member
  6. Ms Raijeli Vasakula - Council Member
  7. Ms. Dianna Buresova - Council Member
  8. Ms. Jotishna Nair - Council Member

The President, Ms Phillips expressed her sincere thanks to all women lawyers for their support and contributions to the discussions on the formation of an association for women lawyers. She said the Interim Executive Committee would continue the process of consultation with all women lawyers and report back to them on the work of the Committee for the formation of the Fiji Women Lawyers Association (FWLA).

4. Continuing Legal Education Programme 2003

Continuing Legal Education Seminar for Months of August/September/October 2003

Topic: "Evidence-Recent Developments"

Speaker: Mr. Devanesh Sharma - Messrs. R. Patel & Sharma
Dates, Venues and Time as follows:
25 August Labasa Hotel Takia 7.00pm-8.00pm

Topic: "The Fair Trading Decree - An Overview"

Speaker: Mr. Richard Naidu - Messrs. Munroleys
Dates, Venue and Time as follows:
18 August Labasa Hotel Takia 6.00pm-7.00pm
21 August Suva JJ's Conference Room 5.30pm-6.30pm
25 August Lautoka Waterfront Hotel 5.30pm-6.30pm

Topic: "The Bail Act & Urgent Criminal Applications"
Speaker: Madam Justice Nazhat Shameem - High Court Judge
Dates, Venue and Time as follows:
2 Sept Suva JJ's Conference Room 5.30pm-6.30pm
16 September Lautoka Waterfront Hotel 5.30pm-6.30pm
25 Sept Labasa Hotel Takia 6.00pm-7.00pm

Topic: "Injunctions - Practice & Procedure"
Speaker: Mr Robert Smith - Messrs. Munroleys
Dates, Venue and Time as follows:
8 Oct Suva JJ's Conference Room 5.30pm-6.30pm
16 Oct Lautoka Waterfront Hotel 5.30pm-6.30pm
23 Oct Labasa Hotel Takia 6.00pm-7.00pm

5. Notice of 2003 Annual General Meeting

All Nomination Forms have already been sent out last month to all members.

Members are advised that the 2003 Annual General Meeting of the Fiji Law Society will be held on Saturday, 20th September 2003 at 2.00pm at the Warwick Hotel, Korolevu.

a. AGM Business:

  • To adopt the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Society held on 21st September 2002
  • To consider the Council's Report on the activities of the Society and its audited accounts for the year ended 30th June, 2003 (to be circulated)
  • Election of Fiji Law Society Council including President, Vice President and six Council Members
  • Election of an Auditor
  • To consider any Notice of Motion
  • General Business

6. Nominations for Appointment/Elections to the Council of the Fiji Law Society

Nominations are now open for all appointments/elections of the Fiji Law Society Council. This shall be in writing and signed by two members of the Society with the consent of the Nominee endorsed on the Nomination Form. This must be lodged with the Secretary, no later that 3.00pm on Friday 29 August 2003 (Regulation 13).

b. Motions

Any Member desiring to move a motion at the Annual General Meeting and/ or any notice of proposed alteration of or addition to the Regulations of the Fiji Law Society together with the terms of such alteration or addition must be lodged with the Secretary no later than 3.00pm on Friday, 29th August 2003 (Regulations 29 and 40).

7. Report on the 2nd World Women Lawyers’ Conference held in London 30 June – 1
July 2003 by Ms Gwen Phillips.

I attended the 2nd World Women Lawyers' Conference held in London on 30 June - 1 July 2003. The Conference was organised and hosted by the International Bar Association Women's Interest Group. Her attendance was partially funded by the England and Wales Law Society. Fiji Law Society funded the balance of the costs involved. The Conference provided an opportunity to network with prominent women lawyers from around the world - representatives from 59 countries attended the Conference and was a great learning and informative experience given the extensive range of topics/subjects available at the Conference. One of the highlights of the Conference was the presentation to Judge Navi Pillay of the International Criminal Court with the Outstanding International Women Lawyer Award.

A brief summary of the programme highlighting the topics/subjects presented is outlined below.

1. The role of women in conflict resolution

The session provided a show case of how and why women have risen to the challenge of conflict in the modern world - from local skirmishes to widespread war, from political to religious causes, from nation to nation to localised territorial disputes. The panel of renouned international speakers addressed issues that span our world and showed us how ordinary women can make a difference.

2. Women as academic managers and leaders

The session looked at the potential for hybrid careers combining legal practice with academic work, identifying the career advancement opportunities and hurdles common to both.

3. International fraud, corporate governance, money laundering and terrorist

finance - the effects of anti-fraud, terrorist and money laundering measures on corporate and real persons

A panel of experienced regulators, in-house counsel and practitioners considered the changing international regulatory environment including global corporate governance post - Enron including money laundering developments and the Higgs Review in the UK, international information sharing, recovering of criminal assets and the new civil forfeiture regime in the UK.

4. Employment and immigration law - shattering glass ceilings and glass borders

The session focused on how businesses can create the right conditions for women's careers to flourish, and practical measures which can be taken by organisations to promote women's legal careers. The immigration aspect of the session examined aspects and barriers to the movement of expatriates and in particular the problem that following spouses face when there is an international transfer.

5. Adoption - benefit or blight?

The law and custom in each jurisdiction was the focus of this session with emphasis on whether adoption was beneficial for children or were there other ways of ensuring that children can be properly cared for in their own community, rather than being adopted, often taking them away from the customary and community roots.

6. Mergers and acquisitions

The aims of the session were to assist lawyers in handling international mergers and acquisitions and to encourage greater activity when negotiating domestic mergers and acquisitions.

7. Management

This session highlighted the experience of women practitioners in diverse markets who have successfully founded and continue to run their own law firms.

8. Energy law

A multijurisdictional panel of lawyers identified a range of issues affecting the international energy sector and explored a variety of topics including changes to the energy sector landscape post-Enron and liability for terrorists acts at facilities.

9. Economic empowerment of women

This session explored the challenges women face economically in both the developed and developing worlds; how the rule of law hinders and could enhance women's economic empowerment; efforts currently underway to empower women economically including, among others, microfinance and financial literacy projects; and the role that women in the legal community might play to empower women to empower themselves.

10. Multi-cultural business negotiations

The session emphasised through role playing, significant cultural issues that can 'get in the way' confuse or otherwise complicate business negotiations.

11. Financing and re-financing - a telecoms case study

A case study of the telecoms industry and its financing challenges set the scene although the case study looked at the development and financing of telecom's network, many of the issues, problems and solutions are equally applicable to other types of asset and project financing.

12. Marketing

The session, through a series of interactive workshops/roundtables, focused on providing tools and practical applications on arrival of marketing topics that are necessary for successful marketing efforts.

13. The in-house counsel/private practice relationship: how external legal advisors can assist their in-house client colleagues

A panel of distinguish in-house counsel discussed how and what they needed and looked for in their external legal advisors.

14. Privacy vs public good

The session focused on the inherent tensions, conflicts and inconsistencies between privacy and local laws and regulations, in particular within Europe, USA, India and Australia, and the inherent difficulties in implementing privacy legislation in the light of technological developments, globalisation and the need to strike a balance between privacy and public good.

15. Antitrust

A panel of antitrust experts from law firms and industry addressed the impacts on industry of significant new (European Union antitrust laws) regulatory and procedural changes.

A CD-rom containing papers presented on each of the topics listed above is available at the Fiji Law Society Secretariat for members who are interested in exploring the topics in more detail.

Women Lawyer's Associations

Gwen also took advantage of the opportunity to meet and discuss relevant issues pertaining to women lawyers interest groups/associations with women bar leaders from around the world. She has secured the support of prominent women lawyers to assist in structure formation/documentation of our own national body should the concept be supported and adopted by Fiji women lawyers. This will be mooted further in due course.

I take this opportunity to thank the Fiji Law Society for its support in nominating and funding my attendance at the Conference. And would also like to thank fellow practitioners who endorsed and supported the Fiji Law Society decision.

Gwendolyn Karen Phillips
Direct Dial:+679 322 1806
gwen.phillips@munroleyslaw.com.fj

8. IBA Fellowship in International Legal Practice.

Applications are being accepted until 5 January, 2004. A limited number of scholarships are available to young lawyers. For further details, please visit the IBA website: www.inabet.org or www.lawcol.org.uk. Tel: 44 0 1483 460200 email: ibapracticediploma@lawcol.co.uk

For any queries on any of the above matters, please do not hesitate to contact Mehzabeen at the Secretariat.

ALOFA AIVA SERUVATU
Secretary

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