Technology, Development and Rule of Law to Dominate Annual Jurists Conference in Kenya 

International Commission of Jurists to Award 2019 Jurist of the Year 

Global leaders, legal practitioners, representatives from the government and private sector, civil society, and academia from the region will meet at a Jurists Conference on Thursday and Friday in Kwale County, Coastal Kenya.

The Jurists Conference is an annual event organised by the Kenyan Section of International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya).

The conference themed, “Technology, Development and the Rule of Law: Challenges, Options, and Emerging Opportunities,” will examine the future of rule of law in the context of technology and development.

It will evaluate threats and challenges, identify gaps in legislative and policy frameworks with an intention of contributing to the discourse on emerging development frontiers, and its impact on the rule of law, human rights, and justice trends in Africa.

The 2019 AJC marks a significant milestone in the history of ICJ Kenyaas the organization marks sixty years (60) of advancing human rights, justice, and the rule of law in Kenya and the region.

‘‘Marking 60 years since the establishment of the institution, the spirit and purposes of ICJ Kenya as a premier human rights organization has not changed. Our vision has been steadfast and remains “a premier organisation promoting a Just, Free and Equitable Society”, our mission “to promote human rights, justice and democracy in Kenya and around Africa through the application of legal expertise and international best practices,” says ICJ Kenya Chairman Kelvin Mogeni.

‘‘It is my hope that the conference will thoroughly interrogate not only the options and challenges of development on the rule of law but most importantly anticipate future trends and proposed opportunities to strengthen the rule of law in the continent,” added Mr. Mogeni.

Participants of the conference will be drawn from the government, civil society, legal practitioners, representatives of the private sector and academia from the region. The conference will examine how development frontiers:  Governments and Development, Human Rights, Technology and new media and Civic space have interacted with the rule of law and rethink the emerging global, regional, and national trends for each frontier.

‘‘As ICJ Kenya, we strongly believe that protection of human rights in the digital era is key. We are all aware of the benefits that humanity derives from digital technology. Through technology, our work as human rights defenders is made easy. It is now easier to connect, empower, inform and even investigate human rights violations through technology,” said ICJ Kenya Executive Director Abdulkadir Noormohamed.    

Key speakers at the conference will include Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Judge Ann Claire Williams, Christopher Akiwumi, Director for Government and Regulatory Affairs for Microsoft Middle East and Africa; Hon. Michael Onyango, Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce at Ministry of ICT, Kenya; Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals since 29 February 2016; Emilia Siwingwa, Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania among others.

It is expected that legislative and policy proposals discussed at the conference will be shared with policymakers with a view of contributing to the discourse on how technology intersects with development and human rights in Africa. The conference envisions a strengthened engagement among different stakeholders on promoting rule of law and the respect of human rights.