The South Pacific Lawyers’ Association is housed within the Law Council of Australia Secretariat in Canberra. It was established in 2007 with support from the International Bar Association (IBA) in partnership with the Law Council of Australia and the New Zealand Law Society to assist developing law societies and bar associations in the South Pacific region and to promote the interests of the legal profession in the South Pacific.

The 2013-15 Executive comprises:

  • Mr Ross Ray QC: Victorian Bar; Former President, Law Council of Australia (Chair)
  • Mr Richard Naidu: Representative, Fiji Law Society
  • Mr John Marshall QC: Former President, New Zealand Law Society
  • Ms Mareva Betham-Annandale: President, Samoa Law Society
  • Ms Katalaini Ziru: Representative, Solomon Islands Bar Association
  • Mr Bill Bani: President, Vanuatu Law Society
  • Sister Bernadette Eberi: President, Kiribati Law Society

What we do

The South Pacific Lawyers’ Association works closely with member associations to promote the administration of justice and the development and improvement of law throughout the South Pacific region.

We seek to provide members with access to relevant resources and information, including:

  • Model rules on professional ethics;
  • Continuing legal education resources;
  • Information on regional aid and assistance programs which members may be eligible to apply to for funding or support.

Through partnerships with the New Zealand Law Society, the Law Institute of Victoria, the Law Society of New South Wales and the Queensland Law Society, South Pacific lawyers can access legal education and training programs at reduced rates.

Key Objectives for 2013-14

The current major initiatives for the SPLA are:

  • The South Pacific Model Conduct Rules Project; and
  • The Pacific Legal Statistics Survey 2014.

In addition to the major initiatives identified above, the SPLA will continue to:

  • Develop resources and materials available through its website; and
  • Advocate for reform of legal professional legislation and regulation with a view to:
    • Strengthening the capacity of Constituent Members to effectively regulate and support the legal profession;
    • Improving the training and education of the legal profession in the South Pacific region; and
    • Improving delivery of and access continuing legal education.


The Constitution of the SPLA was unanimously voted in at the SPLA's inaugural AGM on Monday 11 July 2011. The Constitution was amended at the AGM held on 15 November 2013 in Port Vila, Vanuatu.


The South Pacific Lawyers' Association currently does not admit individual membership. However, we welcome contact from individuals and organisations which share similar objectives. 


For a detailed history of the South Pacific please see attached SPLA 2007-11 Progress Report.

2011-2012 Annual Report - South Pacific Lawyers' Association.pdf160 KB
SPLA 2007-2011 - Progress report.pdf550.12 KB
2013 12 25 - Constitution - South Pacific Lawyers' Association.pdf76.91 KB