NOAB’s “Lawyers and Society” fund is a solidarity fund set up by the Dutch Brussels Bar.
The Dutch Brussls Bar collects funds to support social projects related to protecting and defending human rights, here and elsewhere in the world, and to help lawyers in difficulties.
A number of activities were organised in 2014, for example organising a concert at BOZAR to celebrate NOAB’s 30th anniversary.
In April, under the Bar of Lubumbashi Partnership, a delegation of NOAB members spent several days in Lubumbashi, with the goal of further expanding the Bar’s library and exchanging trainees.
The NOAB Foundation plays a major role in the organisation of the Bar library in Lubumbashi. The Bar at Lubumbashi has over 900 lawyers, many of whom have to work and prepare cases without their own libraries. This joint library was set up as part of the partnership between the Dutch Brussels Bar and the Bar of Lubumbashi under the Presidency of John Kalala and Dirk Van Gerven. The partnership goes back many years and was started under the Presidency of Edgar Boydens and continued under the Presidents after him, including Bertrand Asscherickx.
The Bar library at Lubumbashi opened on 19 April 2011, with books provided by Dutch Brussels Bar lawyers and by Larcier. Larcier donates new books (last edition but one) and lawyers from our Bar take them there each year, all free of charge. The library now has nearly five hundred books on Congolese law, the law of other African nations, OHADA law, French and Belgian law and European and international law. If you’d like to donate books, please contact the Dutch Brussels Bar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Bar library at Lubumbashi is a great success. It is higly regarded in Belgian and Congolese diplomatic circles. This is an excellent example of the Dutch Brussels Bar setting up a successful project for another bar and for lawyers in general. In the long term, the libary will become a centre for collecting books and knowledge on the treaties and OHADA law (the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa), which applies directly in 17 countries in Central Africa. Lawyers from the Dutch Brussels Bar can access this library when in Lubumbashi.
This project was set up under the protocol agreement (accord de jumelage) which the Dutch Brussels Bar and the Bar of Lumumbashi signed on 19 April 2011. The protocol agreement also provides for the organisation of conferences in Brussels and Lubumbashi, such as conferences on OHADA legislation in both places. In addition, it provides for the exchange of trainees, with two Dutch Bar trainees spending two months at a lawyer’s office in Lumumbashi and two trainees from Lubumbashi working at Belgian lawyers’ offices each year. This project has been running successfully for some years, giving young lawyers an opportunity to find out more about Congolese law and practice, adding value in the increasingly international market that we as lawyers are involved in.