Welcome to the website of the Bar Association of Seychelles. One of the key aims of the Bar Association is to encourage the dissemination of information on legal subjects. In this website you will find a wealth of information on the Seychelles Legal Scene.
To learn more about the Bar Association or to contact the Bar Association, please refer to the About Us page.
If you are interested in engaging the services of a Seychelles lawyer or to verify the status of one, please refer to the Attorneys-at-Law & Notaries page.
If you are interested in updating your Membership or becoming an Associate Member, please refer to the Membership page.
NOTICE: The Bar Association of Seychelles has received reports that there are organizations passing themselves off as Seychelles Law Firms and individuals passing themselves off as Seychelles Lawyers. Please note that complete lists of all practicing Attorneys-at-Law, Notaries and Law Firms are available on this website. If you are dealing with any individual or organization that is not in our lists, please report these individuals or query their status to the Bar Association of Seychelles and the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
The Fair Trading Commission ("FTC") in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held a Stakeholders Consultative Workshop at the STC Trade Centre on the 27th March 2013. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the role of the Fair Trading Commission in light of the law and its practices and to seek ways of improving the law to better equip the FTC in its role.
The role of the FTC is to ensure that fair competition practices flourish through the sanction of anti-competitive practices as defined by the Fair Competition Act 2009. The FTC also has the role of the consumer protection agency in the country by virtue of the Consumer Protection Act 2010.
Participants at the Workshop
The workshop saw a presentation by Mr Hassan Qaqaya of UNCTAD, an expert on competition and consumer law issues. He identified areas of the law that required clarification and beefing up. For example, does the consumer protection law only protect the final user in the consumer chain? What about the intermediate users? Mr Qaqaya also expressed concern about the accountability of the FTC and their independence. Concerns that amendments in the existing laws could seek to curtail. He also mentioned that the FTC could benefit through liasing with other bodies and institutions to build up its capacity.
The workshop was attended by various stakeholders from Government ministries, parastatals, the Attorney General's Office and the Bar Association of Seychelles, who were represented by its Secretary Mr Divino Sabino and Treasurer Ms Teresa Micock.
It is hoped that the recommendations of the expert are taken on board by the legislators.
Vernon Flynn QC, an English Barrister of Essex Court Chambers, London, delivered a lecture on Arbitration at the Univeristy of Seychelles Mont Fleuri campus on Monday, 4th March 2013. The event was attended by University staff and students and by members of the both the Seychellois and English Legal Profession.
Mr Vernon Flynn QC delevering a lecture at the University of Seychelles
In Introducing the renowned Queen's Counsel, Mr Divino Sabino, a Lecturer at the University, stated that Mr Flynn is one of the top commercial barristers in the UK and was a former Lecturer at the London School of Economics, having lectured in and founded its LLM in International and Comparative Commercial Arbitration programme. Mr Flynn gave an overview of Arbitration, tracing its historical roots, its role in settling commercial disputes and the manner in which arbitral awards may be challenged. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), it is the process in which parties consent to have a tribunal adjudicate on their dispute and bind themselves to the decision of the arbitral tribunal. The arbitral tribunal can be made up of arbitrators who may not be legal professionals, who are tasks with hearing all the evidence and coming to a decision in line with their terms of reference. Mr Flynn cited privacy as one of the key advantages of arbitration, as unlike in the courts of law - where the general public is allowed to attend, arbitral proceedings are usually conducted in private, so that sensitve information or practices remain private.
Once an arbitral tribunal pronounces its decision, the decision can be registered before the Supreme Court of Seychelles and enforced as it it were a judgment of the said court. However, Mr Flynn pointed out that the Seychelles is not a party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, this is a convention in which over 100 countries have ensured that they have mechanisms in place to recognize and enforce arbitral awards from other convention countries in their own countries. As Seychelles is not a party to this convention, arbitral awards from Seychelles are not easily enforceable in other countries, if at all. In the same vein arbitral awards from other countries are not easily enforceable in Seychelles, and in some cases, not enforceable at all. As Seychelles tries to position itself as a international commercial hub, what with its offshore incorporation industry and the hope of a successful regional stock market (Trop-X), Seychelles can encourage business activity and confidence by becoming a party to the New York Convention.
Other challeges to arbitration cited by Mr Flynn were costs and possible delays.
Members of the Audience
Thereafter Mr Flynn invited questions from the audience, which included esteemed legal personalities such as Mr Courtenay Griffiths QC of Bedford Row, Mr Tim Taylor QC of SJ Berwin and local legal luminaries Pesi Pardiwalla SC, Kieran Shah SC and Mr Bernard Georges, who is also a Lecturer at the University of Seychelles.
The Head of the Law School, Dr Ganesh Chelembrum, thanked Mr Flynn for the informative talk and for his time. The lecture itself was very well received by the audience and many hoped that Mr Flynn could follow up with another talk in the future.
The Bar Association of Seychelles has launched its Facebook page. You may access the page by clicking here. The Facebook page will work hand-in-hand with this website in informing the public about the workings and activities of the Bar Association of Seychelles and of selected local legal developments.
The Bar Association of Seychelles held its Annual General Meeting earlier today at the premises of the Supreme Court.
Some of the critical issues raised were the difficulties expected to arise once the Supreme Court moves mid-year from its current vicinity in the heart of Victoria to Ile Du Port, whilst the Magistrates Courts remains in its present location. There were also discussions over the 6 expected appointments to the Supreme Court bench that will be made this year, none of which are expected to be made from the senior members of the Seychelles bar.
Proposals were passed to amend the Constitution of the Bar Association of Seychelles, adding a Seychelles-nexus requirement to becoming associate members; changing the title of Chairman to that of President and amending the Constitution with regards to the appointment of Senior Counsel.
The elections to the Management Committee saw Mr Antony Derjacques re-elected as Chairman, now President, for a 4th consecutive term. Mr Divino Sabino was also re-elected for a 4th consecutive term as Secretary. Miss Teresa Micock was re-elected for a 3rd consecutive term as Treasurer. Mr Elvis Chetty was re-lected as an Executive Committee Member. Mr Clifford Andre was elected as an Executive Committee Member and Mr Leslie Boniface was elected as a co-opted Executive Committee Member.
The Bar Association of Seychelles would like to express its thanks to the Judiciary of Seychelles for providing the venue for the meeting and to ACM Associates for auditing the Association's accounts.
The Bar Association of Seychelles held its 2012 Annual Dinner at the Wharf Hotel & Marina on the 14th of December 2012. The dinner was marked with the presentation of the award of Senior Counsel to Mr Philippe Boulle.
Mr Philippe Boulle, SC
Mr Philippe Boulle becomes only the 5th Attorney-at-Law to be awarded with the prestigious honour. The title of Senior Counsel is bestowed by the Bar Association of Seychelles upon Attorneys who have over 20 years experience at the bar and who have made significant contributions to local jurisprudence through the bar.
The event was well attended by both members of the bench and the bar, distinguished guests included the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Francis MacGregor, Justice Anthony Fernando of the Court of Appeal, Acting Chief Justice Durai Karunakaran and Attorney General Ronny Govinden to name but a few. Other Senior Counsel - Mr Pesi Pardiwalla, SC and Mr Kieran Shah, SC were also present.
Chairman of the Bar Association of Seychelles - Mr Antony Derjacques
In his welcoming speech, the Chairman of the Bar Association, Mr Antony Derjacques spoke of the great honour of being awarded the Senior Counsel title and that it was also a mark of respect which one's peers bestow upon another. In honour of Mr Boulle, Mr Kieran Shah, SC spoke of the time when they were school mates and how Mr Boulle was a bright and enterprising young man.
Mr Kieran Shah, SC & Mr Bernard Georges
After being awarded with his certificate, Mr Boulle thanked his wife and children for their support and patience and revealed that in fact, it was not his childhood dream to become a lawyer and that the move into the profession came about by chance. He spoke of being lured into the profession after learning about the Articled Clerk route, which meant that he could train to be a lawyer without having to leave Seychelles, as was the case in virtually all other professions. He spoke of his articled clerkship with Moutia and of being the first and only Attorney-at-Law to have qualified through the Articled Clerk route. He spoke of the court challenges that he championed against the Executive and how this led to him being detained by the authorities and eventually leading to his exile to the United Kingdom. Once there, he decided to pursue a formal legal education and successfully completed his LLB at the University of London and was called as a Barrister of the Honourable Society of Inner Temple. He returned to Seychelles on the ushering of multi-party democracy and has continued to persevere both in the courtroom and in the domain of politics.
The MC, or rather the PC (Person of Ceremony) for the night was Mr Bernard Georges, who once again did a great job as the PC and sought to ensure that the evening progressed in line with the agenda and schedule.
The 3rd Legal Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) was held on the 6th and 7th of December 2012 at the Grand Baie International Conference Centre in Mauritius. The event was organized by the Judiciary of Mauritius and the China Law Society in collaboration with the the Mauritius Embassy of the People's Republic of China and legal departments and offices in Mauritius.
Chief Justice of Mauritius Mr Yeung Sik Yuen
The conference brought together legal academics and practitioners from China and numerous African countries to discuss legal issues concerning China-Africa co-operation in economic and investment matters. The Honourable Chief Justice of Mauritius Mr Yeung Sik Yuen welcomed the delegates to the conference and there was a keynote address from Mr Li Xinmin, the President of the Law Society of Henan Province, who was also the Head of the China Law Society delegation. The Honourable Attorney General of Mauritius Y Varma gave the opening address, highlighting the theme of the forum, which is "Deepening China-Africa Legal Co-operation".
Mr Divino Sabino, Secretary of the Bar Association of Seychelles
There were presentations on the aspects of International Law re China-Africa co-operation (Mr Du Yanlin of Jilin University) and Historical links between China-Africa (Mr Chang Jie, Vice President of the Law Society of Siping City of Jilin Province). Mr Zhou Feng, Presiding Judge of the First Criminal Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court of China spoke about cracking down on Money Laundering Crime and this was echoed by Mr Divino Sabino, Secretary of the Bar Association of Seychelles who spoke about the tax information sharing between states and recent developments in fight against money laundering. Mr Lu Yi, Senior Partner of Shanghai Junyue Law Firm spoke of the influences on China-Africa Investment with regards to changes in African Investment Laws.
Mr Lu Yi, Senior Partner of Shanghai Junyue Law Firm
Dr Jian He of Xiangtan University
There was also a focus on dispute resolution mechanisms as a means to settle differences between investors and host parties and the State. Ms Wang Jie, the Secretary-General of the CLS Academy of Arbitration Law spoke on resolving business disputes in China through the CIETAC, whereas Dr Jian He of Xiangtan University spoke of the settlement of Sino-African trade and investment disputes. On the other side of the spectrum, Mr Salim Moollan, a Barrister of Essex Court Chambers spoke about advancing international arbitration in Mauritius and this was supported in talks by Ms Fedelma Claire Smith of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the history of PCA and its role in Mauritius, and of Mr Duncan Bagshaw, the Registrar of the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre.
In his closing remarks, Mr Gu Zhaomin of the China Law Society stated that the conference brought out thought provoking issues and it was hoped that it would lead to strengthening the legal ties between Africa and China.
The forum was attended by the Chairman & Secretary of the Bar Association of Seychelles Mesrs Antony Derjacques and Divino Sabino.
A 2-day workshop was held at the National Council for Children Training Room at Bel Eau on the 7th and 8th of November 2012.
The aim of the workshop was to provide information on the processes involved in the development of a HR plan based on the UN and Commonwealth Model National Plan of Action, and to engage stakeholders in decisions related to the consultation process, need for a baseline study, format and structure of the plan as well as coordinating mechanisms and responsibilities for drafting and monitoring the plan.
The Facilitators - Justice Emile Short & Mrs Mahrookh Pardiwalla
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UNDP and its facilitators were Justice Emile Short from Ghana and Mrs Mahrookh Pardiwalla, the local consultant for the project. The workshop was attended by members of numerous Government Ministries such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Community Development, Employment and Social Affairs, the Prison Services, members of the Judiciary (Justice Anthony Fernando of the Court of Appeal), the Media Commission, the Electoral Commission, LUNGOS and the Bar Association of Seychelles (Ms Teresa Micock & Mr Divino Sabino).
Participants raised a number of concerns and issues, for example, there was a greater need to educate the public on human rights and build capacity amongst stakeholders on the matter. The office of the Ombudsman was critisized for not taking a more active role as envisioned in the Constitution and it was recommended that the Human Rights Commission be separated from the Office of the Ombudsman (currently the Ombudsman is the Human Rights Commission).
It was hoped that the National Treaty Reporting Committee, of which the Bar Association of Seychelles has members, can play a role in the National Human Rights Action Plan, either directly or through the setting up of a sub-committee.
A Legal Seminar on issues arising from Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation between China and African countries was held in Xiangtan University at Hunan Province from the 16th to the 20th of September 2012.
Entrance to Xiangtan University
The Seminar brought lawyers and Government legal officials from numerous African countries and Chinese provinces. The Bar Association of Seychelles attended the event, being represented by its Secretary Mr Divino Sabino and Mr Conrad Lablache.
Messrs Divino Sabino & Conrad Lablache in talks with Mr Gu Zhaomin of the China Law Society
The legal seminar was focussed on China-Africa cooperation in trade and industry and how the exchange of legal information and cooperation in legal circles can facilitate and increase economic activity between China and Africa.
Mme Liu Yang, Executive Vice-President of the China Law Society opened the ceremony on the 17th September at the Yifu Building at Xiangtan University and this was followed by the Inaugural Ceremony of the China-Africa Legal Training Base, heralded by the unveiling of a monument at the compound of the Xiangtan University Law School and in the presence of Hunan Provincial People's Congress Standing Committee Chairman Mr Renzhou Jiang and China Law Society Executive Vice-President Mr Chen Jiping.
Inauguration Ceremony of the China-Africa Legal Training Base with Africa being represented inter alia, by Mr Sabino, Ms Sheila Santana Afonso of Mozambique & Justice Shaheed Bhaukaurally of Mauritius
Mr Divino Sabino, an Attorney-at-Law and Lecturer at the University of Seychelles, delivered a presentation on the Investment Laws and Investment Opportunities in Seychelles. There were presentations from other African countries on their investment laws and investment climate, Mr Kafule Mwiche, a lawyer and the Treasurer of the Law Society of Zambia spoke of the factors that contribute to Chinese investments in Zambia and Mr Twinomugisha Ben Kiromba, Dean of the Law School of Makerere University spoke of the Investment Legal Regime in Uganda. Closer to home, Justice Shaheed Bhaukaurally of the Supreme Court of Mauritius spoke of the International Arbitration Centre in Mauritius and how this could be an ideal forum to settle any disputes between China-Africa actors.
Mr Sabino presenting on Seychelles Investment Laws
Justice Shaheed Bhaukaurally speaking on the Mauritian International Arbitration Centre
There was a presentations by Professor Hong Yonghong of Xiangtan University on Bilateral Investment Treaties between China and African countries, which highlighted Seychelles' very own with China, and Professor Zhu Weidong, also of Xiangtan University spoke of disputes that have arisen from China-Africa business relations.
Mr He Yanjun, Counsellow of the Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, who was formerly posted in Seychelles, spoke of FOCAC and China's policies in Africa.
Mr He Yanjun on FOCAC and China's Africa Policies
Members of the Legal Seminar visited the Intermediate People's Court of Xiangtan City, an example of an efficient and modern court in China.
The People's Intermediate Court of Xiangtan City
Mr Gu Zhaomin of the China Law Society presided over the closing ceremony and it was agreed that the Seminar brought out some thought provoking discourses on China-Africa relations and pointed the way forward on how China-Africa legal cooperation, through legal services and dispute resolution mechanisms, can improve upon trade and economic activity between the regions.
A 2-day Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution was held on the 28th & 29th August 2012 at the Kempinski Resort. The event was organized jointly by the Judiciary of Seychelles and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Africa Programme.
The Distinguished Participants at the Symposium
Mr Martin O. Masiga, Deputy Director of the ICJ Africa Programme, gave the opening speech, introducing the ICJ and the subject-matter of the symposium, that of the need to increase access to justice through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. This was followed by the keynote address from Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende on the contribution of ADR in enhancing access to justice and on the administration of justice in Seychelles. The Chief Justice pointed out that there were 397 Civil Cases which were over 2 years old in the Supreme Court, some going as far back as 1998-1999. He pointed out the 5 main ADR mechanisms: Negotiation, Mediation, Neutral case evaluation, rent a judge and Arbitration. He assured the stakeholders that he would be willing to do all that is required of him to ensure that the use of ADR mechanisms can be a success in Seychelles.
The symposium feature many notable and distinguished speakers, Justice James Ogoola, Chairperson of the Ugandan Judicial Services Commission and Professor Kofi Quashigah, of the University of Ghana Faculty of Law gave introductory talks on ADR mechanisms. Mr Philippe Boulle gave a thought provoking and incisive presentation on whether there is a need for ADR in Seychelles or whether more resources should be focussed on improving a failing judiciary.
Mr Philippe Boulle, Attorney-at-Law & Notary
The recently retired Chief Justice of Zambia, Mr Ernest Sakala spoke on the enforcement mechanisms of foreign arbitral awards and Mr Steven Gatembu Kairu, a Lecturer at the School of Law at the University of Nairobi and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators gave presentations on procedural and adjectival considerations on mediation and conciliation and on the ADR mechanisms in Kenya.
Mr Steven Gatembu Kairu FCIArb, Advocate & University Lecturer
Closer to home, Lady Justice Cheong of the Supreme Court of Mauritius gave a presentation on the ADR mechanisms of Mauritiius with an examination on their fairly recent legislative development in that area of the law.
There were presentations from Judge Durai Karunakaran of the Supreme Court of Seychelles on the civil case backlog caused by delays in the delievery of justice. Judge Bernadin Renaud spoke of the role of judges and the judiciary in the legal process and on ADR, whereas Mr Divino Sabino, Attorney-at-Law & Lecturer at the University of Seychelles spoke on the legal and policy constraints on effective ADR mechanisms in Seychelles.
The symposium saw a large turnout from judicial officers, members of the private bar and the Attorney General and State Counsel. Law graduates and Seychellois law students from the University of Seychelles, Cambridge University, the University of London International Programmes, and the University of Kent were also in attendance.
Deputy Director of the ICJ Africa Programme Mr Martin O. Masiga and Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende
It was agreed by the Symposium participants that it was necessary, given the existing circumstances, to introduce a mandatory element of ADR, in the form of mediation, in the civil litigation process. It was also agreed that all stakeholders should receive training on ADR mechanisms, such as mediation.
Mr January Msoffe, a Tanzanian National, was sworn in an a Justice of the Court of Appeal on the 17th of August 2012.
Justice Msoffe is not new to Seychelles, having previously served as a Senior Magistrate in 1985. Justice Msoffe previously served as a Justice of the Tanzanian Court of Appeal, Judge of the Tanzanian High Court and Judge of the Dodoma High Court in Tanzania.
He has been appointed for a term of 5 years and will conduct his duties as a visiting Justice of Appeal.
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