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CALL FOR PAPERS

Strathmore Law School will host the Annual Law Conference on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th July 2014 at Strathmore University, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Annual Law Conference is a global discussion forum for legal scholars, practitioners, judiciary officers, researchers and other interested stakeholders.

 

The theme for the 2014 Annual Law Conference will be Justice and Jurisprudence: Nation Building through Facilitating Access to Justice. The objective of the conference will be to examine the definition of justice, impunity, immunity and their interplay vis-à-vis access to justice.

 

The Conference Secretariat welcomes the presentation of academic papers in areas related to the following subthemes:

 

  • Justice as the end of law
  • Justice, immunity and impunity
  • The role of jurisprudence in nation building
  • Governance and the Common Good
  • Justice and the legislative function
  • The role of the judiciary in  nation building
  • Access to justice and the role of international guidelines and standards
  • Working towards achieving access to justice for all persons
  • The role of leadership and good governance in attaining a just society

 

KEY DATES & DEADLINES:

 

15 Mar 2014: 300-word abstract in electronic form, accompanied by a resume or summarised bio and a recent passport size digital photograph.
30 Mar 2014: Notification of Acceptance of Abstracts
15 May 2014: Submission of the draft paper
15 June 2014: Notification of peer review comments
25 June 2014: Submission of final paper ready for publication as per conference format guidelines

 

The proceedings of the conference will be published.

 

Please send your abstract in electronic form to:

The Law Conference Secretariat

Strathmore Law School

lawconference@strathmore.edu

Tel. (254-703) 034600

 

CONCEPT NOTE

 

Strathmore Annual Law Conference

Justice and Jurisprudence: Nation Building through Facilitating Access to Justice

Strathmore University, 3rd -4th July 2014

 

The term ‘justice’ has been conceptualised in various ways. The Romans are known to have defined justice as the perpetual and constant desire to give to each his own (his ius, his due right).[1] This definition has, for centuries, been accepted as the general definition of justice in the legal, ethical and social sense. The determination of rights and duties depends on three known basic types of relations of justice: what is owed between persons, what is owed by the collectivity to the individual and what the individual owes the collectivity. Consequently, Aristotle distinguished between commutative justice, distributive justice and legal justice. A study of the concept of justice cannot but address the question from these three perspectives.

 

Justice has also been understood as signifying equality where equals are treated equally or in certain circumstances treating people unequally so as to recognise and correct past injustices. But, is it possible to achieve equality based on equal treatment? Can formal equality contribute towards a more just society? There are social and economic issues that require justice to be viewed through the lenses of ‘substantive equality.’ Can social and economic security be achieved through the market system or social security safety-nets by the government? For instance, what measures are needed to respect, promote and protect basic social and economic rights in a country? How do you attain distributive justice, in instances where there is unjust allocation or distribution of resources? What corrective measures would be necessary to achieve ‘redistributive justice’?[2] Justice could also mean fairness. In this sense it could connote “procedural fairness” where every person is entitled to a fair hearing and due process in adjudicative bodies, including the courts. A fair process is accessible, predictable, and should yield equal and equitable outcomes.[3] What can be done to ensure that this fairness does not remain mere rhetoric but is enjoyed by every person? Finally justice could mean integrity, virtue and ethical conduct.

 

The legal and justice system in a country is part of the social structure and is thus influenced by a number of factors including customs, traditions and levels of development. In turn, justice and jurisprudence can influence nation building by facilitating access to justice for all the people. It is thus imperative to unpack access to justice. What are the imperatives of access to justice? What is the role of law in fostering justice/injustices in society? Is justice the end of law? Are existing policies, treaties and institutions at the global and national level affording the necessary mechanisms for accessing justice? How does impunity and immunity impact access to justice especially for the poor people? At the national level, how are the existing policies, laws and institutional frameworks facilitating access to justice?

 

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 has been lauded as a transformative constitution with a raft of provisions geared towards fostering justice in the society. The national values and principles of governance (Article 10), the Bill of Rights (which recognises the right to access to justice for all including minorities and marginalised groups), Chapter 6 on leadership and integrity, and establishment of an independent judiciary at Chapter 10, are all expected to contribute towards a just society. However, the challenge lies with how these provisions will be implemented so as they translate into tangible benefits for the people of Kenya. In this regard, the role of institutions including the judiciary will be essential in developing jurisprudence and attaining a just society.

 

Law as an instrument of social change can be used to attain a just society. Consequently, institutions established by law such as the judiciary and legislature can facilitate access to justice for all persons. Respect for the rule of law, leadership and good governance also works towards attaining a more just society. However, law can also foster injustices in society by marginalising certain groups or communities.

 

In efforts towards justice and development of jurisprudence, Strathmore University Law School seeks to establish itself as a centre renowned for excellence in legal education and research, guided by a commitment to pursue justice, to produce lawyers of professional competence and moral conviction, and to be the region’s hub for agents of change. Towards the realisation of this vision, the University has organised the 2014 Annual Law Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is Justice and Jurisprudence: Nation Building through Facilitating Access to Justice. The objective of the conference is to examine, from a jurisprudential perspective, the definitions of justice, impunity and immunity, and their interplay vis-à-vis access to justice.

 

In this regard, Strathmore University Law School invites legal scholars, practitioners, judicial officers, researchers and interested stakeholders, to present scholarly papers in the following sub-themes: justice as the end of law; justice, immunity and impunity; the role of jurisprudence in nation building; governance and the Common Good; justice and the legislative function; the role of the judiciary in nation building; access to justice and the role of international guidelines and standards; working towards achieving access to justice for all persons and the role of leadership and good governance in attaining a just society.

 

 



[1] See. Digesto 1, 1, 10.

[2]Margot A. Hurlbert and James P. Mulvale, Defining Justice, available at http://fernwoodpublishing.ca/website_pdfs/pursuingjustice.pdf, accessed on 19/02/2014.

[3] Available at http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/problem/defjust.htm, accessed on 19/02/2014.

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