Shiraz Aziz and Smita Shah address Algerian Bar Association Conference

Thursday 28 March 2013

Shiraz Aziz and Smita Shah have both returned from participating as experts in a highly successful conference over the weekend of 23-24 March in Algiers at the invitation of the Algerian Bar Association and the Law Society of England and Wales.

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The conference took a comparative look at sharing concepts, practices and ideas about the English common law system with Algerian lawyers. Topics included ADR, the court structure, courtroom advocacy in crime and civil law, contracts, family law and banking law. There were around 70 participants with plenary and breakout sessions. Shiraz and Smita were both part of a delegation of nine experts, handpicked for their depth of knowledge of their subject matter and experience.

Smita said "The conference was enormously rewarding, there was such an enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge among the participants about the common law system."

Smita co-hosted a workshop with Helen Perkins of the Association of Justices Clerks on family law, women's rights and children's rights. "We had an unprecedented response to the family law session and the participants highlighted what they felt was the tension and conflicts between their family code and Algeria's obligations under the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention for the Rights of the Child. In turn I went away better educated about the Algerian family code and its impact upon Algerian society."

Shiraz ran a workshop on energy to a full house with standing room only, highlighting another key area of concern for Algerian lawyers: the opening of their economy and the potential for oil and gas revenue while safeguarding their natural resources.

Both their sessions were well received with a call for follow-up workshops and training from several participants. Shiraz said "It is something we would support". Smita added "I sincerely hope that we can return and consider the requests for more workshops and for longer".

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Smita Shah speaking about UK Family Procedure Smita Shah speaking about UK Family Procedure[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Shiraz Aziz speaking about energy law Shiraz Aziz speaking about energy law[/caption]

Smita's two presentations can be downloaded here:

Shirz's talk can be downloaded here:

Shiraz Aziz and Smita Shah would both like to express their gratitude to the Law Society for the opportunity to speak in Algiers.

Members of Garden Court International regularly travel to provide collaborative training to lawyers and judges in other jurisdictions. If you would be interested in a barrister speaking at an event you are planning, please contact the Senior Clerk to Chambers, Colin Cook.

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