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19 November 2015

Local Lawyers Making Big Difference In Africa

Making a difference in developing countries was just one of the themes discussed at a special event held in Belfast yesterday and sponsored by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and Bar of Northern Ireland.

 The event entitled ‘A presentation on the promotion of the Rule of Law for Sustainable Development’ provided a platform to showcase the ongoing work of Irish Rule of Law International, a local charity who promotes collaborative projects aimed at enhancing the provision and protection of human rights and good governance in developing countries.

Members of the legal profession in Northern Ireland joined colleagues from the Republic of Ireland to hear from a number of key speakers including Michael Irvine, Director and Emma Dwyer, Co-ordinator from Irish Rule of Law International as well as from the President of the Law Society, Arleen Elliott.

Delegates heard of the ongoing work of the many projects concerning the rule of law from legal aid, access to justice, law law, youth employment and judicial dialogue through the active support of local volunteers many of whom are from the legal profession.

One such local volunteer, currently in Malawi, is Northern Ireland Barrister, Sarah McGuckin who sent an online diary to allow delegates at the event an opportunity to hear first-hand of her work.In her online diary Sarah describes her role in international arbitration in the Legal Aid Bureau in Lilongwe, Malawi’s Capital city. She works closely with in-house advocates and every day provides something different from drafting submissions in homicide cases to facilitating training for professionals in conducting a Legal Aid Clinic in a prison.

Commenting after the event Arleen Elliott President of the Law Society said:“We are delighted to welcome Irish Rule of Law to Belfast to showcase the invaluable work which they and the volunteers such as Sarah undertake on a daily basis to ensure and to support access to justice issue in developing countries”.

Michael Irvine Director of the Irish Rule of Law International said:“We would like to thank the Law Society of Northern Ireland and Bar of Northern Ireland for their continuing support and we hope more members of the legal profession will consider becoming involved and supporting the projects around the world”.

For more information regarding the various projects please visit

 From left to right - David Mulholland, Chief Executive from the Bar of Northern Ireland, Michael Irvine, Director of Irish Rule of Law International, Arleen Elliott, President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Emma Dwyer, co-ordinator, Irish Rule of Law International, Alan Hunter, Chief Executive, the Law Society of Northern Ireland



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