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15 June 2017 | Simon Wilkins, General Manager, LexisNexis Australia

The Asia-Pacific rule of law digest: Advancing Together

Hello and welcome to the June 2017 edition of Advancing Together.

It’s been a busy 2017 for LexisNexis on the rule of law front. Our rule of law commitment and activism recently received a 2017 Corporate Leadership Award from Freedom House , an independent watchdog organisation dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. In addition, we were named among the Top 10 companies by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) for our commitment to embedding corporate social responsibility and sustainability throughout our company. We achieved some notable world firsts with the creation of an international human rights app, as well as a practical resource on social justice topics. We also reached another milestone in our ongoing collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Fiji and have continued our work assisting Myanmar in its transition to democracy.

In December last year we launched RightsApp, a world-first digital human rights resource, in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). This app digitises some of the world’s most important international human rights treaties and agreements and provides them in a readily accessible format. Users can quickly and easily search by topic or by right and access the information without reliance upon an internet connection — making the app available anywhere, anytime. This project was conceived by one of our employees and we are extremely proud to have supported it to fruition, and to have partnered with the AHRC to increase access to human rights.

Our second world-first was the release of our complimentary Practical Guidance Social Justice Pacific module, openly available through our website or through your Lexis Advance® subscription. The module is an essential resource for those working on pro-bono cases and social justice issues, and a crucial tool for those with limited access to resources to prosecute their case or defend their rights. In the current global climate, raising awareness and providing resources to further social justice outcomes is crucial. This resource increases access to justice — a central tenet of the rule of law and one that we are proud to actively advance through our work here.

We were proud to launch the Laws of Fiji at the end of last year – a project that saw the full collection of Fijian legislation consolidated and published for the first time in two years. The three-volume publication was launched at the 18th Attorney General’s Conference in Natadola, Fiji by the AttorneyGeneral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in front of more than 300 senior members of the legal community. We are privileged to work closely with the Fijian Government and to collaborate on improving access to, and knowledge about, the Fijian justice system. Our work in Fiji is ongoing, with new volumes of the Fiji Law Reports currently being developed with support from the Fiji Access to Justice Project.

We continue to work in Myanmar to assist the expansion of the nation’s legal system throughout the transition to democracy. Our projects span the Government, Corporate and Academic sectors and recently involved leading a team of specialist lawyers to help train more than 50 Myanmar Government lawyers in international contract law

Advancing the rule of law helps people in many different ways. By reducing corruption, it creates greater safety and stability for people within their own countries. By creating a conducive environment for business to operate, it generates positive economic outcomes for the members of those communities. It provides greater access to justice and ensures that the most vulnerable people in society have a chance to be heard. Through all of our projects and through our day-to-day work, we are committed to increasing the protection of the rule of law to help all people in need. Please enjoy the thought-provoking articles in this edition and stay up-to-date with our activities in advancing the rule of law across the Asia Pacific region.

Simon Wilkins
General Manager
LexisNexis Australia