No fewer than 12,000 lawyers from different parts of Nigeria are expected as delegates at the 59th Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference slated to hold on August 23 to 29, 2019, Gbenga Oyebode, who chairs the association’s Technical Committee on Conference Planning, says.
Oyebode disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday at a press conference organised to officially announce this year’s edition of the NBA annual conference. He pointed out the large number of lawyers the association hoped to host showed there was a significant interest in its conferences.
“We expect that the total number of registered lawyers that would attend the conference will be in excess of 12,000,” the legal luminary said while reeling out the details of the conference. “This is the trend that we tend to see in the Nigerian Bar Association whether the conference is held in Lagos or Abuja.”
The theme of the 2019 NBA conference is, “Facing the Future” and was borne out of the pressing need to invest in a sustainable foundation for an optimistic future, according to NBA chairman, Paul Usoro.
“The conference is placing topical issues on the agenda for Nigerians and it is going to offer solutions and ideas on what needs to be done to change the economy of Nigeria and make life much better for Nigerians,” Usoro said.
The conference is expected to feature 34 technical sessions and showcase sessions, where subject-matter experts, business leaders and renowned political leaders in various fields of human endeavour will lead conversations.
Among the sessions are Code of Conduct Tribunal: A clash of the judicial and the executive powers, capacity building in the oil and gas industry, lighting up the future – identifying and removing the clogs in the power chain, social media: culture, liabilities and professional ethics, and trade in legal services: current realities and future possibilities.
Others include state of play, future challenges and opportunities in cross border trade in legal services, regional economic communities and regional economic agreements on cross-border legal services such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS nations.
The conference will also feature sessions on digital trade in legal services, public private partnership, infrastructure financing in Nigeria, leveraging technology in justice, among others.
Usoro noted that these discussions would primarily aim at envisioning the future of the legal profession within the context of a rapidly changing and evolving world, and anticipate the adaptive measures that practitioners would be required to embrace in light of these imminent changes.
He further explained that the conference would address issues around 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 to assure a better future.
He said the President of the International Bar Association (IBA), Horacio Bernardes Neto, who recently confirmed he would attend the event, would launch the IBA Working Group on Sexual Harassment and Bullying in the legal profession.
The chairman of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning stated that other speakers expected at the event are Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the newly confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and others.