From the Editor - June 2010

Welcome to the June edition of International Bar News.

Various themes pervade this June edition of IBN. One is the focus on Africa, most obviously as South Africa plays host to the football World Cup (see our Letter from Africa column), but more potently as the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) first Review Conference in Uganda attempts to pave the way for progress in international criminal justice, so vital for countries across the continent. (See interviews with the US Ambassador for War Crimes, Stephen Rapp, and the former President of the ICC, Philippe Kirsch).

A second major theme is the emergence of the BRIC economies and particularly the increasingly pivotal position of China in the global financial order. Our ‘Behind the BRICS’ feature highlights the enormous growth potential for China’s international law firms. And, as the IBA President notes, there is considerable potential for the Association to assist Chinese firms as they prepare to compete on the world stage.

The IBA is well placed to assist Chinese firms as they become increasingly influential in the world of international business. In this sense, the third overriding theme – business and human rights – binds the first two. China’s level of investment in Africa is phenomenal and, as the briefing points out, Chinese investment in Latin America is increasingly significant, but difficult to monitor. China’s power to shape the future of both continents is immense. As the IBA’s Executive Director rightly points out in his column, ‘the commercial arena, with all its great opportunities of trade and natural resources, is so interdependent on wider issues of peace, justice, and the rule of law.’ All these themes are sure to be revisited.

James Lewis