On August 8, 2016 in Johannesburg (South Africa) the 77-th International Law Association Conference (ILA) has begun. As of 2nd of August 185 participants from all around the world were registered.
In particular, the largest delegations have been sent from such countries as the United States (27 people) and Germany (22). However, there was also a great number of experts in international law sent from the UK - 17 people, Australia - 15, Netherlands - 13, Japan - 12 South Africa - 12 and, surprisingly, the Republic of Korea - 9.
Other countries have delegated considerably less members to the Conference: India and Brazil – 6 each, Canada - 5, Portugal, Poland, Nigeria and Norway – 4 each, France, Greece, Israel, Austria, Spain and Sweden – 3 each, Slovenia, Switzerland – 2 each, and Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine - 1 representative each. However, the delegates are still coming, so until August 11 the Conference will be attended by around 400 lawyers.
Ukrainian branch of ILA on this honourable event is represented by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Igor Turyansky
, the only professional diplomat among all delegates. By the way, this was emphasized by Association Chairman Lord Jonathan Mance
- during his first speech at the Conference.
As of the conference, the chairperson of the Conference was elected to be the president of the South African branch of the Association, Professor Hennie Strydom
The first key speaker was Navi Pillay
, a South African, who worked as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for 6 years (1998 - 2014).
By the way, Mrs. Pillay was the first among the delegates who recalled the violation of human rights in the territory of modern Ukraine as a result of violations of the country's territorial integrity, thus drawing international law experts’ attention to this problem. She has also emphasized the need for all countries to comply with all of the norms and principles of international law and fundamental human and freedom rights. It was felt that Mrs Pillay has not yet "moved" from her previous long-term activities in the field of human rights.
On the first working day of the Conference delegates have visited several sections. The most popular were the discussions about the current state of space and maritime law, international criminal law and social orientation of investment. The working groups involved at least 10 people, maximum - 30-40. Many of the participants "migrated" between groups.
In conversations with the delegates of the Conference, Igor Turyansky has managed not only to present a special issue of "Journal of Law" in English, which was published with the support of the Ukrainian branch of ILA, but also to inform about the situation in Ukraine, about a real war in the east of the country. The participants try to understand these problems from the international law perspective.
Let us hope that such event as the Conference of the Association of International Law will be important not only for lawyers but also for the whole Ukrainian society.