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Chief Justice on Trial

Corona pushes cross-border law practice supervisory body

September 29, 2011 12:19pm
Amid globalization and free trade, Chief Justice Renato Corona pushed this week for an international or regional regulatory board to supervise "cross-border" practice of law.

Speaking before an international forum, Corona noted the legal profession has, to a larger extent, "been globalized by the world economy."

"The feasibility and mechanics of establishing an international or regional regulatory board to supervise the cross-border practice of law must be thoroughly studied, as municipal rules, statutes and codes of conduct, and of professional responsibility, may apply only to citizens of a particular country licensed to participate law within that jurisdiction," an article on the Department of Foreign Affairs website quoted Corona as saying.

The DFA quoted Corona as he delivered his keynote address at the 5th China-ASEAN Forum on Legal Cooperation and Development last Tuesday at the Shangrila Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

About 300 delegates from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and China attended the conference.

In pushing for a regional body to oversee cross-border law practice, Corona noted the liberalization of legal services within the framework of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

Such a regional body can also oversee the setting up of uniform competency standards for those who would be practicing law in other countries.

"A set of uniform competency standards... concerning the recognition of educational, citizenship and other requirements or qualifications already obtained in, and of licenses or certifications already issued by, one's home state by other members states must be formulated to facilitate the free flow of legal services with which it may enter into bilateral or multilateral trade agreements," he said.

Meanwhile, Corona reminded lawyers to remain faithful to the basic and essential nature of their noble "profession" in the philosophical sense of the word.

"Lawyering is not a profit-making venture. Neither is it business nor a commodity oriented towards maximization of material benefits. Nor is it measured by worldly success indicators. Rather, it is a time-honored profession anchored on the dictates of truth, justice and equality, partaking of the nature of true and selfless public service for the betterment of society and the nation," he said.

The forum was jointly organized by the Malaysian Bar Council, China Law Society, ASEAN Law Association of Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Center for Arbitration.

Speakers at the forum included:
  • Malaysian Federal Court Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria

  • China Law Society Vice President and Peking University Executive Vice-President Professor Wu Zhipan

  • CIMB Bank Berhad Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani

  • Royal Selangor Pewter Managing Director and Special Task-Force to Facilitate Business Co-Chairman Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon.
Philippine participants were:
  • Ambassador-designate Jose Eduardo Malaya

  • Supreme Court Justice Presbiterio Velasco

  • Justice Raoul Victorino

  • Consul Shirlene Mananquil

  • lawyer Avelino Cruz

  • lawyer Francisco Lim.
— LBG, GMA News



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