JGU organises G20 Conclave

Inside JGU

March 2024

JGU organises G20 Conclave

JGU organised on  March 23 the G20 Conclave on ‘Role of Lawyers and the Legal Profession in the Economic Development of G20 Countries’. The Guest of Honour on the occasion was Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Member of Parliament.

In the Inaugural Address, Dr. Singhvi said: “The building of a nation is fundamentally dependent on the foundation of good governance that is controlled by the rule of law. Initiatives like G20 are based on certain essential creeds. These include clear collective action, universal outlook, global citizenry, transnational cooperation, synergy and collaboration ultimately all encompassed in that beautiful phrase Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. There is an opportunity, especially for young lawyers, to actually participate and to actively shape global regulations by engaging with policymakers, industrial leaders and civil society.

“The legal community has been at the forefront of the India’s independence movement. We all know the legal connection from Mahatma Gandhi to Ambedkar to Nehru, Sardar Patel and others. What is less known is the contribution of legally trained persons in the G20 countries as well from Lincoln to Mandela. The contributions of these persons extended far beyond the courtroom. They shaped their respective nations for future generations and it is no exaggeration to say that legal profession is at the heart of industrialisation and economic growth. But all of them involve the principle of rule of law to see that contracts are enforced, a level playing field exists for everyone, disputes are either minimised or managed well, and that people and businesses are correctly advised about navigating these legal intricacies and jurisdictions.”

Dr Singhvi warned that with globalisation, there were many new challenges too. “The flipside is that crime and criminals do not respect either sovereignty or borders. Take cybercrime or cyberterrorism, for example. No one G20 country can deal with it alone. Lawyers must be at the forefront of designing the remediation and preventive mechanisms. Collaboration, cooperation and coordination will be needed, even within the more limited confines of G20 because none of this can be handled by any entity alone. Young lawyers must do work in areas of harmonisation of new regulations and this applies not only to artificial intelligence but also to related subjects like data privacy, data security, mitigating bias in artificial intelligence systems. G20 lawyers here also should equip themselves to act as neutral third parties to facilitate efficient regulations, and most importantly, create a paradigm or a mechanism for resolving conflicts,” he observed.

Introducing the theme of the conclave, Prof. David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law and Vice Dean, Harvard Law School, said, “The events of the last few years are really a symptom of even bigger changes that have transformed our world. First and foremost, the globalisation of the economy and the increasing movement of global activity from the global north and west to the south and east, including our friends in China and India, and also the complexity of that interaction have led to a kind of explosion, law regulation and risk that all organisations face… These new laws are challenging traditional ideas and what it means to be a lawyer and what lawyers should be doing.”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU, and Dean, JGLS, said, “The theme of the conclave is the role of lawyers and the legal profession in the economic development of G20 countries. The question of the role of lawyers, the legal profession, is one of the less studied aspects in the larger context of G20 and the economic development of G20 countries.”

In her special address, Ms. Pratibha Jain, American Bar Association (ABA) India Committee Chair and Head of Strategy & Group General Counsel, Everston, said, ”Investment firms are at the core of economic growth of any country other than capital markets. The alternative investment industry has been pivotal to the economic growth of G20 countries. Contribution of alternative investment such as private equity, hedge funds and real estate funds is critical for growth of startups and provision of innovation capital in these countries. For any firm to operate or to set up new businesses in a new jurisdiction, they have to navigate not only the local laws but the cross-border laws and the laws of the country from where they’re investing from. A well-functioning legal system attracts investments and contributes to long-term economic growth. A strong legal profession is integral to creating an innovative economy, policy, advocacy and legislative reform.”

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