As one of the largest singular gatherings of lawyers anywhere in the world, the 61st Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Port Harcourt promises a world-class international hybrid conference, combining both virtual and physical participation.
As the global community contends with the COVID-19 pandemic in its various mutations, we have been forced to address the far-reaching healthcare, social, and economic implications of the pandemic, and to continue to adapt to current realities. True to its role as the face of the legal profession, the NBA must demonstrate its willingness, readiness and capacity to champion this continuous evolution, and to lead the charge for change, and for the adoption of rules, processes and skills that will allow this adaptation.
In the bid to actualize a broad agenda for sustainable and inclusive transformation through the instrumentality of the law as championed by the President of the NBA, this year’s AGC, aims to forge paradigm which will shape subsequent generations of legal practitioners, and more importantly reposition their profession to play our critical role of TAKING THE LEAD (as the Conference theme says) in its role as a catalyst for social engineering and national development, as well as an opportunity to shift from an approach of being reactive to being proactive and where necessary, to challenge the status quo, speak truth to power and advocate for a better society.
The Conference theme confers on us a responsibility for proffering solutions and implementing these solutions, and to move away from diagnostic discourse to a focus on being more prescriptive as to what needs to be done. This it must do by a focus on three core areas of concern, namely: the nation and continent; on institutions, and the legal profession itself.
Triggered by in-depth discourse by highly accomplished stakeholders from far and near, the Conference is set to engage delegates in a bid to inculcate the requisite knowledge, skills and inspiration to improve our lot as Nigerians and Africans. Taking up from the inspired legacies bequeathed in past NBA Conferences, this year’s edition aims refract the theme Taking the Lead through several perspectives, as reflected in the Conference programme, as follows:
1. A documentary showcase on the leadership and membership contributions of the NBA through epoch making events in our nation’s history, with a stimulating historical narrative, as well as interviews with legal luminaries.
2. A Keynote Address on professional, national and continental leadership challenges and discussions by successful change agents.
3. Interactive plenary and breakout sessions with panel discussions with heads of the three arms of government, state representatives as well as past and present leaders, legal icons, heads of global agencies, key subject matter experts and civil society.
4. Monumental debates on the Bar and Bench of yesterday, today and the future with leading local and international icons, with a focus on the regulation of practice and justice sector reforms.
5. Specialised thematic sessions hosted by the different sections and fora of the NBA with a focus on business law, legal practice, public interest, gender issues and young lawyers.
6. Technical training to foster mentoring between bar leaders, young lawyers, and new wigs.
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