NBAAGC2017 to prepare lawyers for local, global challenges- Layi Babatunde SAN
In the last 20 years, Mr Layi Babatunde (SAN) has been supporting the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) through his law firm. He speaks with ADEBISI ONANUGA on preparations for this year’s conference starting on Friday in Lagos
In what ways would you say preparations for this year’s Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) promises to be a unique event?
Judging by what is the public domain, the conference promises to be unique in a number of ways principal of which, is that the entire conference will run digitally . The NBA has promised to provide each conferee a tablet on which he can conduct the business of the conference as well as his law practice , research wise .it is like taking your library with you , while attending the conference . This is a pioneering effort and we pray it works out fine . We look forward to enjoying the camaraderie that usually attends the conference .
Is there any way in which you think the controversy surrounding NBA leadership may affect this conference?
I hope you are not alluding to some disruptive events that sometimes happen in some State House of Assembly or even in Abuja ? The NBA is one big family and whatever differences there may be , whether on matters of principle or otherwise , will be resolved without destroying our common heritage . There are not many professions in which it ‘s practitioners proudly address themselves as’ learned friends.‘ That should count for something and it does . The Bar is one and we are all gentlemen, even when we hold strong views .
What exactly is the importance of this conference to practitioners and legal practice?
The friendship that pervades the Bar is a fertile ground to cementing the chords of National Unity , especially at this time when there are several discordant voices all over. The friendship that has been built and are being built, is part of what we celebrate annually, when we gather at our annual conferences Indeed the conference recreation Centre is appropriately named.‘ Friendship Centre’ . This conference is also set to examine the business environment and the legal regime that supports it within the continent. As you know, Law practice is in itself a business so we expect to leave the conference better prepared to serve our clients locally and internationally. We need to grow this economy and expand it’s base . This conference in a way , should be part of showing the way .
As the Editor-in-Chief of the Supreme Court Reports, aside from your usual support for the conference, in what other specific ways are you contributing this year?
For almost 20 years now, we have consistently supported the Bar locally and nationally and we are proud of our rich history in that regard . This time around, the NBA sought our partnership, that as the official law reporters of the Supreme Court, the organizers will like us to support the confrence with our authoritative Supreme Court report . The appeal to us was that , in view of the critical importance of credible law reports to quality law practice, the organizers want the conferees to have the best in law reporting on the NBA conference tablets, yet under a sacrificial arrangement of six months subscription at no cost. We agreed to make the sacrifice, in the bigger interest of the Bar, particularly our younger colleagues. What we have done is extraordinary in that we will be offering our colleagues at the Confrence our latest effort My SC extra , with it’s unique features and content.
Interview by Nation Newspapers
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