Bahamas to host major law summit

Thousands of lawyers will be heading to The Bahamas in 2021, as the destination is scheduled to host the Commonwealth Lawyers Conference (CLC).

The four-day conference will bring together judges, lawyers and other professionals from 53 member countries of the Commonwealth, including English-speaking nations of the Caribbean.

The hosting of the conference by The Bahamas marks the second time the CLC will be held in the Caribbean region, the first time having been in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in 1986.

CLC Bahamas will also be the third time the conference has been held in the western hemisphere. The second time was in Vancouver, Canada, in 1996, except for regional meetings.

Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, said: “As a proud member of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Bahamas is honoured to host Commonwealth Lawyers Conference 2021.

“We’ve been passed the baton from Zambia, and we look forward to welcoming members of the legal profession from around the Commonwealth to our capital city of Nassau for a conference that will enrichen our collective jurisprudence.

“CLC 2021 is a great opportunity for delegates to engage in enlightening discussions, share ideas and best practices and to network. We will also use this occasion to introduce members of this diverse gathering to many of the exciting touristic offerings of our destination. CLC 2021 Bahamas promises to be a memorable, dynamic conference.”

The Commonwealth Lawyers Conference is organised by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) in London, and has been hosted since 1955 throughout the Commonwealth in countries such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

The CLA President 2017-2019, R Santhanakrishnan of India, visited The Bahamas in January 2018 and again a year later in January 2019.

He was accompanied this year by incoming CLA president for 2019-2021, Brian Speers of Northern Ireland, and they both attended the inaugural meeting of the CLA regional hub for the Americas, spearheaded by Bahamian attorney Dr Peter Maynard.

They were hosted by Mr D’Aguilar and the Bahamas Bar Association. They also attended the seventh annual arbitration and investment summit: Caribbean, Latin America and other emerging markets held at the Baha Mar Resort and Casino, which was co-sponsored by the CLA.

CLC 2019 was held in Zambia from April 8-12. The Bahamas delegation consisted of Kahlil Parker and Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson, Bahamas Bar Association president and treasurer, respectively, and Dr Maynard.

Dr Maynard was elected on Monday as CLA vice-president for the America 2019-2021. International arbitrator, Bertha Cooper Rousseau, was also present having been elected a CLA Council Member for the Caribbean, succeeding Dr Maynard in that post. Erin Greene was among the speakers. Judges, lawyers and other professionals were present from around the Caribbean and 40 of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth.