BRICS Legal Forum
- Brazilian Bar Association;
- Association of Lawyers of Russia;
- Bar Association of India;
- China Law Society;
- East China University of Political Science and Law;
- Law Society of South Africa;
- University of Cape Town.
The Forum serves as an open, permanent platform for legal cooperation and professional exchange of experiments and ideas between lawyers of the BRICS countries, the promotion of “legal diplomacy”, the rapprochement of legal communities of the Member States, legal theory and practice exchange, the use of law as an instrument for the economic cooperation and social development of certain countries, the strengthening of the rule of law and improvement of international law, cooperation to improve the status of lawyers, development of legal profession, and the establishment of comprehensive cooperation with international legal institutions. The main goals of the Forum are to promote the legal assistance of economic cooperation, to implement major infrastructure projects as well as to develop international financial and legal institutions, to increase the independence of national economies from negative processes in the world market.
1st BRICS Legal Forum was held in Brazil in December 2014. Besides the principal organisers (professional bar associations and associations of lawyers), the delegations included representatives of the regional offices and leading law institutions of higher education of the BRICS countries. The following topics were discussed during the 1st BRICS Legal Forum: compatibility of legal and judicial systems of the Member States; preparing their legislations for possible unification processes aimed at eliminating the obstacles to a fruitful international cooperation; principal features of the judicial reform in Russia; establishment of a new uniform supreme judicial body, fate of arbitration courts; activity of special courts in Brazil, South Africa and China; features of the work of lawyers of the BRICS countries on the settlement of disputes under WTO membership. The outcome of the Forum was set forth in the Declaration.
2nd BRICS Legal Forum took place from October 13 to 16, 2015 in Shanghai, China under the slogan “Legal cooperation: to strengthen the BRICS Community on the basis of historical destinies”. The 2nd Forum was focused on such topics as legal framework of economic cooperation of the BRICS countries; initiating coordinated steps to develop the cooperation in international spheres, including various forms and methods of “legal diplomacy”; possible basic mechanisms and main principles of dispute resolution, especially in trade and economic relations; special features of legal and organisational forms of developing political and economic interaction among the BRICS countries.
The 2nd Forum resulted in the establishment of the Shanghai Center of BRICS Dispute Resolution and the Declaration of the 2nd BRICS Legal Forum was adopted.
3rd BRICS Legal Forum was organised in New Delhi, India in September 2016. The participants of the Forum discussed development of new forms of international cooperation; participation of lawyers in the integration processes in different regions of the world; legal protection of foreign investment, new tendencies in international commercial and civil law.
The discussions during the 3rd BRICS Legal Forum led to the establishment of the New Delhi International Center of Dispute Resolution of BRICS countries and other developing economies and the adoption of the Declaration of the Forum.
4th BRICS Legal Forum was hosted by the Association of Lawyers of Russia and took place from 30 November to 1 December 2017.
In Russia, the Forum was held for the first time and brought together around 1 500 participants from five countries. The Forum programme involved an extended plenary session on “Interaction between legal systems of the BRICS member states: towards an equitable global order” and six thematic panel sessions with more than 80 delegates speaking.
The 4th Forum resulted in signing the Moscow Declaration.
In 2018, the 5th BRICS Legal Forum (23-24 August) was held for the first time in South Africa and was hosted by the Law Society of South Africa.
Pre-eminent legal speakers from across the BRICS countries addressed a range of contemporary topics including BRICS themes: arbitration, contracts, taxation and the processes and functioning of the BRICS Dispute Resolution Centres.
In the final Cape Town Declaration, Forum participants outlined the importance of realising objectives set by the Johannesburg Declaration of the 10th BRICS Summit. The BRICS legal community also agreed to improve the BRICS Legal Forum institutions and develop working groups on different matters including the Evaluation and Coordination Committee.
In 2019, the 6th BRICS Legal Forum entitled “Building Legal Capacity for New Rule-Based World Economic Order” was hosted by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), who welcomed the delegates from the BRICS member states in Rio de Janeiro from 14 to 16 October.
he panel sessions were focused on the following topics: “Technology and the Future of the Legal Profession”, “Resolving Tax: Disputes in International Commercial Contracts”, “Disputes on Sports Law”, “New Developments in Corporate Laws in BRICS”, and “Intellectual Property Rights Law Developments in BRICS”.
As a result of the Forum, the heads of the BRICS legal organisations — Brazilian Bar Association, Association of Lawyers of Russia, Bar Association of India, China Law Society, Law Society of South Africa — signed the Rio de Janeiro Declaration.
The 7th BRICS Legal Forum was held online on November 18-19, 2020 and brought together around 500 participants from the five Member States to exchange views and best practices in the sphere of legal education, legal framework of digitalization of society, international commercial dispute resolution, and protection of athletes’ rights. The event programme included the extended plenary session “Law and legal order: values and principles in the context of global challenges of modernity” and four thematic panel sessions with more than 50 delegates spoke.
Legal communities of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed the final declaration of the 7th BRICS Legal Forum. The Saint-Petersburg Declaration enshined such principles as strengthening cooperation based on the mutual respect of legitimate interests, equality, respect of sovereignty and multilateralism within BRICS. The participants of the Forum agreed to deepen the legal cooperation and promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the sphere of law, in particular improving the competitiveness of the national jurisdictions of the BRICS Member States, legal regulation of sports, dispute resolution and others.