International lawyers’ body announces its new president: Zimbabwean Sternford Moyo

The International Bar Association has announced Zimbabwean lawyer, Sternford Moyo, as the new president of the influential organisation. Harare-based Moyo is the chairman and senior partner at Scanlen and Holderness, a firm he joined in 1982 and where his particular specialties are mining, corporate and commercial law. He is the first lawyer from Africa to head the organisation.

A former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Sternford Moyo is no stranger to the IBA. He has already held several senior roles in the organisation including that of council member, member of the IBA’s management board and of the advisory board. He has also chaired the African regional forum and been co-chair of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute.

The IBA – which subtitles itself ‘the global voice of the legal profession’ – notes that Moyo is the ‘first IBA president of African descent in the history of the 74-year-old organisation’.

'Visionary'

Commenting on his new office, Moyo complemented those who had started the IBA, saying they had shown ‘great and visionary leadership’. Among others, the association gave space for lawyers to promote professional development to enhance service to the public. It also allowed lawyers to protect and promote the rule of law, human rights, effective administration of justice and the core values of the legal profession.

‘As I take over as president of our association, I am pleased to say that I stand on a platform of excellent work done by my predecessors and the employees of the association.

‘My role shall be to work towards deepening the fulfilment of the objectives of our association and increasing diversity, eliminating all forms of discrimination in the practice of law and administration of justice.’

Objectives

Other objectives outlined by Moyo for his term of office include:

  •  developing effective anti-corruption strategies;
  • strengthening IBA project output from constituents to provide ‘role model’ material to improve the practical exercise of law;
  • updating guidance and recommendations regarding the extractive industries so that current strategies meet investor protection and developmental rights of the communities where the investment takes place;
  • focusing on cyber security with the aim of working towards developing best practice guidelines for a new global framework for public institutions and private companies; and
  • using digital resources to make the knowledge generated by the IBA more readily available to developing bar associations, lawyers in low-income jurisdictions and those at entry level in high-income jurisdictions.