Twelve Minsters of Justice and eight Attorneys General are among 400 international delegates expected in the country next week when Kenya hosts the 56th Annual Session of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO).
The high profile International Law Conference, the third to be held in Kenya, will start on 1st May 2017 until 5th May 2017 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) and will bring together delegates from 47 governments from Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Economic Superpowers China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore as well as oil rich Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Jordan and South Africa will be highly represented in Nairobi. Russia will for the first time be attending an AALCO Conference as an observer.
The first Conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955 where member states committed to forging Asian African cooperation on international legal matters with the Bandung Spirit continuing to inspire states in the quest for an egalitarian and just international legal order.
The AALCO Secretary General, Professor Kennedy Gaston will jet into the country on Wednesday 26th April and is expected to pay a courtesy call on His Excellency the President at State House. He will be accompanied by the Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai.
This year’s annual conference discussions will focus on Violent Extremism and Terrorism, and the Status and Treatment of Refugees. This will be interesting for Kenya in the wake of government efforts at closing Dadaab, Africa’s largest refugee camp which holds thousands of Somali, Ethiopia and South Sudanese refugees.
The Conference will also address environmental concerns touching on the protection of the atmosphere while examining the emerging issue of International law in cyberspace.
The Immunity of State Officials from Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations will also be discussed. On the sidelines of the Conference, Japan and China will host two meetings centered on Promoting Rule of law in Asia and Africa and Combating illegal trade on wild flora and fauna as part of the transnational organized crimes.
African countries that have seen increased cooperation and trade have in particular been seeking legal advice in the areas of conflict of laws in international trade, law of treaties, extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and debt relief. In recent years, the law of the Sea has for the continent generated significant interest due to exploitation of maritime resources located within the territorial waters.
Of significant interest to Kenya is the recognition of the country as an international center for commercial dispute resolution. This further recognizes Kenya as a key investment and financial destination in the world. In December last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta inaugurated the Nairobi Center for International Arbitration. Other highly sought centers for dispute resolution in the world include, United Kingdom, New York, Malaysia and Dubai.