WE the members of the legal communities of countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, having gathered here in Colombo, Sri Lanka this 24th day of October Nineteen Hundred and Ninety One.

BELIEVING in the objectives of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation:

SHARING the common aspirations of our people in the region to live in peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity.

CONSCIOUS that in order to realize the said objectives, it is necessary to develop people to people co-operation.

AWARE of the fact that law and the legal community have a role to play in developing and building meaningful co-operation in this region which is mutually beneficial, desirable and necessary for promoting the economic social and technical co-operation for the welfare of the peoples in the region and improving their quality of life and contributing towards building national and collective self-reliance in the SAARC region.

DO HEREBY constitutes and forms ourselves into an Association known as SAARCLAW

Objectives:

1. The objectives of the SAARCLAW shall be:

  • To bring together the legal communities within the region for closer co-operation, developing understanding and promoting exchange of ideas and dissemination of information.
  • To use and develop law as a source and an instrument towards social change for development as well as for building co-operation among the peoples of the region.

Affiliated Country Chapters:

1. There may be established in each SAARC country a SAARCLAW Country Chapter, the membership of which shall be open to the following categories of persons-

  • Persons professionally qualified to practice law;
  • Judges;
  • Law teachers of any University or Law college;
  • Persons possessing academic qualifications in law;
  • Any other persons who have demonstrated an interest in the law and Its development in each SAARC country.

2. A SAARCLAW Country Chapter shall, on application made therefore to the Executive Council of SAARCLAW be affiliated to SAARCLAW provided it has a membership of not less than ten (10) members and has formulated a Constitution the objectives of which are in conformity with the objectives of SAARCLAW.

Membership:

1. The signatories to this Charter shall be members of SAARCLAW.

2. The following shall be eligible for membership of SAARCLAW:

  • members of SAARCLAW Country Chapters established in each of the SAARC countries and affiliated to SAARCLAW in terms of Article 2 above; and
  • individual persons belonging to the categories specified in Article 2.1 above, from countries which have not established SAARCLAW Country Chapters in terms of the said paragraph

Subscriptions:

1. Every country chapter affiliated to SAARCLAW and any individual member shall pay an annual subscription of such an amount and in such manner as may be determined by the Executive Council of SAARCLAW (1/2).

2. Any country chapter or member who shall be in arrears of subscription for a period of over two years shall be deemed to have ceased to be a member of SAARCLAW (3).

Patron:

The council may invite one or more persons who have achieved eminence amongst the legal communities of the SAARC region to be a Patron or Patrons as the case may be, of SAARCLAW. Such Patron or Patrons shall be ex-officio members of the Council (4).

Executive Council:

1. There shall be an Executive Council of SAARCLAW (hereinafter referred to as the "Council") (5) which shall consist of-

  • The Patron or Patrons, as the case may be (6);
  • The past Presidents and Secretary Generals of SAARCLAW, who shall be the permanent life members (7).
  • Not less than twenty one (21) and not more than thirty five (35) nominated members equally representing, as far as possible, each of the SAARC Countries (8 /9)).

2. The members of the first Council shall be elected by the signatories to this Charter.

3. The members constituting every subsequent Council, other than the Patron or Patrons and the Permanent members, shall in compliance with Article 5.1 (c) above be nominated by each Country Chapter. In the event of the required minimum number of members not being nominated to the Council, the members shall, in consultation with the outgoing members of the Council, appoint such additional number of members as may be necessary to constitute the Council so however that the Council shall at all times have a minimum of twenty one (21) nominated members (10/11/12).

4. Every member of the Council shall hold office for a period of two years and shall be eligible for re-election (13).

5. In the event of any nominated member of the Council vacating his office prior to the expiration of his term of office, the Council may fill such vacancy (14).

6. The Council shall elect the following office-bearers from among its members:

  • President
  • Not more than seven Vice-Presidents
  • Secretary- General
  • Treasurer

7. The Council shall have the power to determine such matters as are required to be determined in terms of the provisions hereof and to do all such things as are necessary to further the objectives of SAARCLAW and to ensure the effective and efficient functioning of the administration machinery of SAARCLAW.

8. Any decisions of the Council may be taken at a meeting of its members or by circulation and assent in writing.

9. Any individual holding the position of Executive Director of SAARCLAW Secretariat shall be admitted and designated as an Ex-Officio member of the Executive Council. The person has no voting rights on any of the agenda items or any other matters. The person has no eligibility to contest for the elections of the offices of the Executive Council (15).

Property and Assets:

1. The property and assets of SAARCLAW shall be vested in the Trustees to be appointed by the Council.

2. The Trustees shall hold the property and assets for the benefit of SAARCLAW

3. The funds of SAARCLAW shall be deposited in such account or accounts to be maintained at such Bank, Banks or other Institutions as may be determined by the Council. The Council shall also determine the persons, not being less than two in number, who shall be authorized to operate such account or accounts.

Meetings:

1. The Council shall meet as often as is considered necessary but not less than once in every two years.

2. The general membership of SAARCLAW shall meet as and when meetings shall be convened by decision of the Council or at the request of not less than two SAARCLAW Country Chapters.

3. The procedure to be followed at meeting of the Council or of the general membership shall be in accordance with such rules as are formulated by the Council.

Amendments:

1. This Charter may be amended by the unanimous decision of the Council or at a general meeting of the membership by a majority of not less than two thirds of the members present and voting.

  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 29th May, 2004, Colombo
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 1st November, 1996, Karachi
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 29th May, 2004, Colombo
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 2nd October, 1997, Karachi
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 7th-8th October, 1995, New Delhi
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 2nd October, 1997, Karachi
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 25th August, 2012, Thimphu
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 29th May, 2004, Colombo
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 25th August, 2012, Thimphu
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 7th-8th October, 1995, New Delhi
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 29th May, 2004, Colombo
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 25th August, 2012, Thimphu
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 25th August, 2012, Thimphu
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 25th August, 2012, Thimphu
  • Amended by the unanimous decision of Executive Council on 4th March, 2016, Kathmandu