Apr 2016 – Present
South Asian Association For Regional Co-operation in Law, SAARCLAW, is an association of the legal communities of the SAARC countries comprising judges, lawyers, academicians, law teachers, public officers and a host of other law-related persons, duly registered with the SAARC Secretariat at Kathmandu and awarded the status of a Regional Apex Body Of SAARC. It owes its origin to the desire of the members of the legal community to establish an association within the SAARC region to disseminate information and to promote an understanding of the concerns and developments of the region.
SAARCLAW was established in Colombo on 24th October 1991, when the then President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Ranasinghe Premadasa inaugurated the Association in the presence of a large gathering of the legal community. In the ensuing nineteen years, affiliate Country Chapters have been established in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and activities of the Organisation have also taken place in the Republic of Maldives.
The Annual SAARCLAW CONFERENCES have been acclaimed as affording an opportunity to its members for interaction, exchange of ideas and for forging a spirit of solidarity. It has been the convention since 1995 to hold a conference of the Chief Justices of the SAARC countries concurrently with the Annual SAARCLAW Conference. This feature has become institutionalized now and offers a forum for the exchange of thoughts and views of the Chief Justices of our countries.
The first SAARCLAW conference was held in Sri Lanka in 1991. Since then conferences, seminars and symposiums have been held almost every year in the SAARC region, at Colombo, Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Male, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
Until now, twelve SAARCLAW conferences have been held. 12th SAARCLAW Annual Conference & 9th SAARC Chief Justices’ Meet took place in Thimphu, Bhutan between 24th May – 26th May, 2013. The main theme of the conference being `Child Protection & Constitutional Provisions’. Chief Justices from all the SAARC countries were present at the event. Afghanistan Chief Justice attended the SAARC Chief Justices meet for the first time.
In its more than 21 years of existance, the members of SAARCLAW have persistently worked towards the achievement of its objectives of bringing together the legal communities within the region for closer co-operation, development of understanding, promotion of exchange of ideas and dissemination of information, and to use and develop law as a source and an instrument towards social change for development as well as for building co-operation among the peoples of the region. A major step in this direction has been the establishment of the M.K. Nambyar SAARCLAW Centre For Advanced Studies And Research within the campus of and in association with the NALSAR University, Hyderabad.