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In May 2001, the British Council hosted the ‘First African Law Week’ Conference in Abuja. The aim of the conference was to discuss changes facing the legal profession at the beginning of the 21st Century, such as globalisation, the rule of law, access to justice, human rights, policing, prisons, capital punishment, environmental law and a host of other matters, which are still pertinent today.
The participants at the conference were made up leading lawyers from the UK and Nigeria, including, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (Chair of the British Council at that time), Roy Amlot QC (the then Chair of the General Council of the Bar), Michael Birnbaum QC, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Maryam Uwais, Oba Nsugbe, Tim Daniel, Tunde Ogowewo and Michael Franks (one of the Law Society Council Members at the time).
The conference raised issues affecting the legal profession at the turn of 21st Century, such as Globalisation, Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Good Governance. One of the resolutions from the five-day seminar was the need for a bilateral body to serve as a vehicle for lawyers from both jurisdictions to effectively collaborate with each other.
One of the resolutions from the of the 5-day seminar was the need to establish a bilateral organisation that would serve as a vehicle where lawyers from both jurisdictions could continue to communicate with each other for their mutual benefit and the promotion of legal ideals. That organisation became known as the British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF).
Download the Chairman’s Keynote Address:
From 2002 and 2005 the Law Society and Bar Council jointly supported BNLF. However since 2005 it has been an independent professional body run by its members and funded by subscriptions and corporate sponsorship. BNLF is governed by a constitution and is run by an executive committee of members.
Chairs of the British Nigeria Law Forum
Seye Aina (2017- Present)
Stephen Akinsanya (2015 – 2017)
Babatunde Akinyanju (2010 – 2015)
Professor Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN (a founding member 2005-09)