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Legal technology company, LexisNexis South Africa, and the East Africa Law Society (EALS) have kickstarted a strategic partnership to strengthen the advancement of the rule of law and good governance on the African continent.

Through the collaboration, the law society’s vast network of over 20,000 individual legal practitioner members and seven National Bar Associations will gain access to special offers on LexisNexis legal technology solutions. About 70% of the EALS membership comprises younger lawyers who are increasingly harnessing the power of technology and digital transformation to aid efficiencies in law. 

CEO and Chair of the Board of LexisNexis South Africa, Videsha Proothveerajh, said, “The EALS is the foremost institution of its nature in the East African region. We are proud to welcome them into our ecosystem of like-minded partners working tirelessly at achieving a situation where all citizens have access to sufficient legal support.”  

She added, “The Rule of Law as a factor for global competitiveness is a basic requirement that all countries must pro-actively enable and uphold. As one of our core objectives, enhancing the rule of law through Africa and the Commonwealth enables African countries to become more competitive and attract more foreign direct investment, thus enabling the continent to achieve its full potential and take its rightful place on the global stage.” 

Shared vision

Among the core mandates of the EALS is the promotion of constitutionalism, democracy and the advancement, promotion and protection of human rights in East Africa. Its principles align strongly with the LexisNexis philosophy that, for the rule of law to thrive, there needs to be equality under the law, transparency of law, an independent judiciary and accessible legal remedy.

President of the East Africa Law Society (EALS), Bernard Oundo, said, “Our strategic partnership is a mutual commitment to advancing the legal profession and the cause of rule of law in East Africa and the African Continent. As we build back, we are grateful to LexisNexis, the leading legal resource provider in the African continent for providing discounted packages for our members. Wide access to these resources will enable delivery of high-quality legal services to clients in the region.”

With the fluid and constantly changing nature of the African legal and regulatory landscape, legal professionals need access to the most up-to-date, country-specific tax, legal and regulatory developments, which are critical to either emboldening or hampering progress in the African context.

Through the partnership, EALS members can access exclusive special offers on two legal content solutions based on the British common law system, namely Lexis® Library UK and Lexis® PSL, which are the bedrock of any good practicing lawyer in the East African community’s legal system. 

Lexis Library is a deep research tool that provides the most up-to-date statement and explanation of the law. The Complete UK Library contains an extensive collection of Cases, Legislation, Commentary, Journals, Forms & Precedents, and Current Awareness, including Halsbury’s Laws of England, The Law Reports (KB/QB etc.), West Indian Law Report, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Reports, Encyclopaedia of Forms & Precedents, Atkins Court Forms, and more.  It also includes leading practitioner textbooks and loose-leaf titles which are listed under Commentary.

Lexis PSL is a practical guidance tool which complements the subscription to Lexis Library and is essentially the equivalent of having your own Professional Support Lawyer. The tool provides users with access to up-to-date guidance on points of law, keeping them abreast of developments pertaining to specific practice areas.  All advice in PSL is directly linked back to the underlying case law and authority in Lexis Library, the UK’s most authoritative and comprehensive legal library, providing seamless access between the two services. Short, concise practice notes help users find what they need more quickly, and access to drafting notes, precedents and fillable forms speeds up the delivery process to clients. Lexis PSL helps you work smarter.

Tiered pricing will be available for practitioners, including a new entrants’ package for greater accessibility to legal practitioners at the start of their careers.

LexisNexis is a multinational company with a history of over 85 years at the forefront of providing localised legal content and technology in South Africa and across the continent. The company recently began a similar partnership with professional platform, Africa Legal, aimed at advancing the Rule of Law in Africa and impacting the work of legal professionals across the continent. This comprises an Africa Market Mapping exercise which will include comprehensive research into the unique needs of African legal professionals and will evaluate the strength of the Rule of Law in Pan African countries. Practitioners can make their voices heard in this important study by clicking here

Some of the EALS’s current rule of law initiatives range from working on a status of rule of law report for the East African region, to high level advocacy on implementation of human rights and rule of law commitments by East African Partner States. It has also led strategic litigation focused on rule of law, as well as training and capacity building among rule of law stakeholders.

A recent initiative between LexisNexis and the EALS was the virtual Rule of Law Café marking Africa Day. This brought together expert speakers including EALS President Bernard Oundo to discuss the theme, Bringing the Law into the Digital Age, which interrogated the role of the rule of law as a basic condition for economic development, and the need for a modernised and effective legal system in African countries.

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