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NBA’s 2019 annual general conference begins in Lagos

NBA president, Paul Usoro, (SAN).

By Editor-in Chief.

All is now set for this year’s Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) annual general conference which is being hosted in Lagos at the prestigious Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island. The conference which is the 59th in the series will run between August 23 and 29, 2019.

This year’s event which will have an adjunctive venue for breakout sessions at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island, will be attended by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), who will also preside over the opening ceremony tomorrow, Monday, August 26, 2019.

Also in attendance is the president of the International Bar Association (IBA), Mr. Horacio Bernardes Neto, who will also at the event launch the IBA working group on sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession; the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, the host governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and a good number of his colleagues from other states, judges of all the superior courts of records from within and outside Nigeria, eminent jurists, captains of industries, religious and traditional rulers, international dignitaries and well over 12,000 senior and junior lawyers all over the world will grace the occasion.

The theme of the conference is “Facing the Future”, which is borne out of the conviction and need to invest in a sustainable foundation for an optimistic future for Nigeria which has just welcomed a new democratic administration following the 2019 general elections which in the life of this government, the country has witnessed mixed fortunes, including the end of boom period, a recession and a slow recovery, events which underscore the exigencies for a well-defined, deliberate template for ‘facing the future’ with the courage and determination required to succeed.

In addition, the conference will address issues of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, access to justice and protection of fundamental human rights, the economy and how to pilot the present economic situation in order to assure for a better future.

The conference will interrogate the current legal regulatory environment, lawyers’ response to technology and preparedness to harness these tools for efficient legal services delivery and a technology driven judiciary.

According to the technical committee on conference planning (TCCP), headed by Mr. Gbenga Oyebode (SAN), (MFR) and supported by Mr. Olu Akpata, Mr. Seni Adio (SAN) and Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha, this year’s conference places the NBA sections and their respective specialist committee sessions at the heart of the conference programme for capacity building.

“Lawyers will have a real opportunity to focus on their areas of interest and benefit from exposure to emerging practice areas to be equipped and reinforced to face the future”, the committee said.

There will be 34 sessions at the conference some of which include: Code of Conduct Tribunal: A clash of judicial and executive powers; capacity building in the oil and gas industry- what are the essential drivers to take us there; social media: Culture, liability and professional ethics; digital trade in legal services; domestic policy change and effect of do-nothing approach, among several other sessions.

The committee also said that there will be over 40 speakers for the sessions and several networking events and mentoring opportunities between bar leaders and young lawyers at the conference.

The idea, according to the committee, is that each conferee at the end of the one week talk shop will go back to base better and more professionally equipped and experienced than he/she came.