The 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference was held in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka along with 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference. The three days conference was inaugurated by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. A major participation from South Asia’s top Judges, legal practitioners and academics have been seen.
The SAARCLAW Conference provided a platform for legal professionals to meet and discuss the issues of mutual interests and emerging legal trends in the South Asian countries. Issues like artificial intelligence, human trafficking, Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and environmental protection concerns are also discussed. Not only this, but the 11th Chief Justices conference was held in a closed-door session and was attended only by Chief Justices or their representatives. It provided Chief Justices of SAARC countries an opportunity to consider the relevance of judiciaries within South Asia.
The Chief Justices reiterated their resolve to overcome problems facing judicial systems in their respective countries. The Indian delegation comprised attorney general K K Venugopal and chairperson J&K Accountability Justice B A Khan. The general K K Venugopal has conferred the lifetime achievement award at the conference for his contribution to promoting friendship and understanding in legal fraternity of these countries.
A source added that “Three important issues focused in the conference included judicial delay, inaccessibility to justice systems and transgressions in the exercise of judicial power and consensus was that these being common to all countries required to be dealt with by a holistic and coordinated effort.”
SAARC is a regional inter-governmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It comprises 3% of world’s area, 21% of world’s population and 3.8% of the global economy as of 2015. The SAARC Cultural Centre at Colombo was established in 2009 with the mandate to promote regional unity through cultural integration and intercultural dialogue and contribute towards preservation, conservation and protection of South Asia’s cultural heritage within the framework of the SAARC Agenda for Culture.