New Executive Vanuatu Law Society
In an historical event, Lawyers in Vanuatu have this week endorsed a Constitution establishing the Vanuatu Law Society as well as electing a new executive committee.
The establishment of the law society was a culmination of meetings and discussions by lawyers spanning four months in exploring ways towards formally establishing the VLS Reference was made to similar organizations in neighboring jurisdictions such as New Zealand, Queensland and Fiji.
A well regulated Law Society in Vanuatu will represent the interests of its increasing members and not only to promote the rule of law but also to promote rules of professional conduct regulating the practice of law in Vanuatu.
According to the new constitution, membership is open to lawyers who have been admitted to the Bar as well as lawyers who have completed their training but are yet to be admitted to practice.
The constitution is now available at the office of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission for signatures by lawyers not present during the historical event onWednesday.
The 10- page constitution, while simple, reflects the aspirations of good legal practice and the promotion of the rule of law and the principles of good governance.
Newly elected President of the Vanuatu Law Society is Bill Bani of Bani Law who is also chairman of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, a position which he has held for the last 7 years. While thanking members for their confidence in him, he reminded them that the road ahead is challenging.
He called on all lawyers to cooperate with him and the committee he leads as they move forward.
Bani said the first and foremost task of the society is to work with relevant government authorities to provide input on the amendment of the Legal Profession Act parliament passed some four years ago.
It is anticipated that proposed changes to the existing Legal Profession Act will include provision on the establishment of the Vanuatu Law Society. Whilst there is a provision of law setting up the Law Council of Vanuatu which is headed by the chief Justice, there is no such provision establishing a Vanuatu Law Society. For the time being, VLS has been registered as a Charitable Association pursuant to the Charitable Associations (incorporation) Act.
The elected office bearers include : Bill Bani of Bani Law as President; Edward Nalyal of Edward Nalyal & Partners as Secretary; Marie Noel Ferrieux Patterson of Hudson & Sugden as Treasurer and three other members are Dudley Aru of Aru & Co ; Viran Molisa Trief of State Law Office and John Stephens Tougon of Vanuatu Financial Service Commission.
source: Vanuatu Daily Post