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1. On 20 November 2021, the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam and British High Commission organised a virtual seminar series delivered by experts from the UK Slynn Foundation. The two part seminar series offers an opportunity for members of the legal fraternities from Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom to discuss and share views.
2. This week's seminar was on the Legal Profession in England and Wales, delivered by Mr Nicholas Vineall, QC, Chair of the Bar Council's Education and Training Committee. The seminar gave an insight into the regulatory arrangements under which barristers work, with a focus on the core duties in the code of conduct. The seminar also aimed to explain the educational and vocational training requirements that people must achieve before being permitted to practise as a barrister and the different roles of the Inns of Court, the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board.
3. In attendance at the event together with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam, The Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong were the Attorney General, Yang Berhormat Awang Haji Ahmad bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Di-Raja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa, British High Commissioner, H.E. Mr. John Virgoe, and Chairman of the Slynn Foundation, Mr Peter Williamson. More than 110 participants attended the seminar, comprising of justices, judges and judicial officers from the Supreme Court, officers from the Attorney General's Chambers and Prime Minister's Office and Bruneian law students and graduates from UNISSA and abroad.
4. The event commenced with welcoming remarks from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam, The Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong. In his welcoming remarks, he stated that "those in the legal profession have an obligation to uphold and respect the rule of law as an indispensable participant in the fair administration of justice". He went on to thank the legal fraternity for working together with the courts in adapting swiftly to remote hearings and for their support in administering justice, especially since the second wave of COVID-19.
5. The Chief Justice emphasized "the value to be had when the legal community comes together in a spirit of collaboration and learning" and expressed his hope that more seminars such as these can be organized "to make an impact on the future of our legal profession and to encourage active participation in our legal community as it is instrumental to supporting Brunei Darussalam's development."
6. The Chief Justice highlighted Brunei Darussalam's "long-standing relationship with the United Kingdom and our shared importance of the rule of law" and expressed his sincere appreciation to the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam for their continued support of the Judiciary and his hope to "further strengthen the exchanges and co-operation between our legal fraternities."
7. Chairman of the UK Slynn Foundation, Mr Peter Williamson said "The Slynn Foundation is committed to the enhancement of the Rule of Law internationally and, in a spirit of friendship, looks forward to developing a warm relationship with Judicial and legal colleagues in Brunei Darussalam, based on a shared common law heritage and building on longstanding ties of cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and the UK, including much valued Judicial cooperation. The Slynn Foundation is most grateful to the British High Commission for facilitating this lecture series."
8. The British experts come from the UK Slynn Foundation, which is a UK based charity working with senior judges and justice institutions around the world to enhance the rule of law, and to improve professional understanding of human rights, mediation and legal practice.
Notes to Editors:
Mr. Nicholas Vineall, QC is a barrister and joint head of chambers at 4 Pump Court, practising in commercial law before the English courts and international arbitration tribunals. He chairs the Bar Council's Education and Training Committee and Regulatory Reform Working Group and will be Vice Chair of the Bar from 1 January 2022. He also sits as Deputy High Court Judge, and as an arbitrator. He is a bencher of Middle Temple.
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