Participants & founders: Brazilian Bar Association, Association of Lawyers of Russia, Bar Association of India, China Law Society, East China University of Political Science and Law, Law Society of South Africa, University of Cape Town.
The Forum serves as an open, permanent platform for legal cooperation and professional exchange of experiment and ideas between lawyers of the BRICS countries, promotion of “legal diplomacy”, rapprochement of legal communities of the Member States, legal theory and practice exchange, use of law as an instrument for economic cooperation and social development of certain countries, strengthening the rule of law and improving of international law, working together to improve the status of lawyers, development of legal profession, establishing comprehensive cooperation with international legal institutions. The main goals of the Forum are to promote legal assistance of economic cooperation, to implement major infrastructure projects as well as to develop international financial and legal institutions, to increase the independence of national economies from negative processes of the world market.
The 1st BRICS Legal Forum was held in Brazil in December 2014. Besides the principal organisers (professional bar associations and associations of lawyers), the delegations included representatives of the regional offices and leading law institutions of higher education of the BRICS countries. The following topics were discussed during the 1st BRICS Legal Forum: compatibility of legal and judicial systems of the Member States; preparing their legislations for possible unification processes aimed at eliminating the obstacles to a fruitful international cooperation; principal features of the judicial reform in Russia; establishment of a new uniform supreme judicial body, fate of arbitration courts; activity of special courts in Brazil, South Africa and China; features of the work of lawyers of the BRICS countries on the settlement of disputes under WTO membership. The outcome of the Forum was set forth in the Declaration.
The 2nd BRICS Legal Forum took place from October 13 to 16, 2015 in Shanghai, China under the slogan “Legal cooperation: to strengthen the BRICS Community on the basis of historical destinies”. The 2nd Forum was focused on such topics as legal framework of economic cooperation of the BRICS countries; initiating coordinated steps to develop the cooperation in international spheres, including various forms and methods of “legal diplomacy”; possible basic mechanisms and main principles of dispute resolution, especially in trade and economic relations; special features of legal and organisational forms of developing political and economic interaction among the BRICS countries. The 2nd Forum resulted in the establishment of the Shanghai Center of BRICS Dispute Resolution and the Declaration of the 2nd BRICS Legal Forum was adopted.
The 3rd BRICS Legal Forum was organised in New Delhi, India in September 2016. The participants of the Forum discussed development of new forms of international cooperation; participation of lawyers in the integration processes in different regions of the world; legal protection of foreign investment, new tendencies in international commercial and civil law. The discussions during the 3rd BRICS Legal Forum led to the establishment of the New Delhi International Center of Dispute Resolution of BRICS countries and other developing economies and the adoption of the Declaration of the Forum.
The 4th BRICS Legal Forum was hosted by the Association of Lawyers of Russia and took place from 30 November to 1 December 2017 in Moscow. The Forum was for the first time held in Russia and brought together 1 500 delegates from 5 countries for exchanging best practices in the sphere of legal regulation. The Forum programme included the extended plenary session “Interaction between legal systems of the BRICS member states: towards an equitable global order” and six thematic panel sessions with more than 80 delegates spoke.
The 5th BRICS Legal Forum took place on 23-24 August 2018. Among the topics for discussion: alternative dispute resolution, in particular arbitration, tax law, contract law of the BRICS countries. The Forum resulted in adopting the Cape Town Declaration. In addition, the BRICS legal communities have agreed to hold the VI BRICS Legal Forum in Brazil in 2019 and in Russia in 2020.
The 6th BRICS Legal Forum was entitled «Building legal capacity for new-rule-based world economic order». Participants of the Forum also discussed the establishment of a BRICS Dispute Resolution Network in each of the member state, future of the legal profession in the context of artificial intelligence and Internet, sports law, tax law, corporate law and intellectual property law. Following the sessions, the BRICS legal communities have signed the Rio de Janeiro Declaration.
In 2020, the 7th BRICS Legal Forum takes place online on 18-19 November and is hosted by the Association of Lawyers of Russia.