Thursday 27 th of January saw the Law Society of Ireland and the Bar Council of Ireland launch their joint charity, Pamodzi Promoting Rule of Law. Originally founded in 2007, the initiative was set up to assist the Irish legal profession in using their skills to promote Rule of Law in developing countries. With a number of successful projects under its belt, and increasing interest and support from within the profession, the charity was formed to further propel the Irish legal contribution to international development.
The key note speech on the night was given by Dr. Sibo Banda, legal professor in NUI Maynooth, native of Malawi and advisor to the Rule of Law Malawi project. Dr. Banda spoke of the challenges faced by Malawi where political will to improve the rule of law is strong, but progress and reform is slow in practice. In highlighting the plight of prisoners held on remand, he praised the work being done by Pamodzi as addressing a problem which to date has been overlooked by the international community. Dr. Banda called upon the profession to continue to use its skills in promoting sustainable development overseas.
Both John Costello, President of the Law Society, and Paul O’Higgins SC, President of the Bar Council, spoke of great pride at the achievements of Pamodzi to date and wished continued success.
Michael Collins SC, director of Pamodzi, said he was encouraged by the turn out at the launch, which he felt showed the continued level of good will within the profession. He said the future looked bright for the charity, with efforts being made to develop involvement of lawyers and expand the projects in place.