The Africa Colloquium
Over the years, more and more Parliaments in Africa have ceased to rely on the Offices of the Attorney-General or the ministries responsible for justice and legal affairs for the provision of legal services and have instead, engaged in-house counsel to provide independent legal services to Parliament. The Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments was therefore established as a forum through which Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments would meet, share their experiences and learn from each other with the aim of enhancing their role in the delivery of sound, professional and independent legal advice to their respective Parliaments.
Objectives of the Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments
The overall purpose of the Africa Colloquium is networking and sharing of information amongst Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments across Africa.
The objectives of the Colloquium are the –
1. interaction, networking and inter-linkage between Legal Counsel serving the Parliaments of different jurisdictions in Africa;
2. examination and enhancement of the functions and roles of Legal Counsel serving in the Parliaments of Africa;
3. examination of the functional inter-linkages of Legal Counsel and other officers serving in Parliaments, the other arms of Government, the legal fraternity and the public;
4. sharing of modern trends and best-practices in the provision of legal services to Parliaments;
5. examination of contemporary legal and parliamentary issues and questions;
6. promotion of the work of Legal Counsel;
7. promotion of capacity building of Legal Counsel serving in Parliament; and
8. the networking and co-operation with Associations with similar objectives.
Administration of the Colloquium
Council to the Colloquium
The Council to the Colloquium Committee was established pursuant to a resolution passed by delegates at the 2nd Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments held from 3rd to 7th November, 2013, at the Laico Hotel, Nairobi Kenya.
The functions of the Council to the Colloquium are to –
(a) provide policy oversight and direction to the Secretariat;
(b) work with the next host country to plan and prepare for the next Colloquium;
(c) coordinate implementation of the objectives of the Colloquium;
(d) keep members regularly updated on Colloquium matters; and
(e) liaise with partners for resource mobilization.
The current Council members were elected during the 4th Colloquium held in Kampala, Uganda and consist of the following members –
(a) Ms. Zuraya Adhikarie – President
(b) Ms. Elizabeth Hove - Southern Region Representative
(c) Mr. Mussa Kombo- Eastern Region Representative
(d) Mr. Eric Owusu-Mensah – Western Region Representative
(c) Mr. Mustapha Zitouni- Northern Region Representative
(f) Ms. Sylvie Mokuba- Central Region Representative
(d) Mr. Clement M. Phebe- Regional Parliaments Representative
Date: 3rd to 7th November, 2013
Venue: Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi Kenya
Theme: The Nairobi Principles
The delegates to the inaugural Colloquium adopted the Nairobi Principles which were identified as key in enhancing service delivery, promoting the advancement of knowledge and sharing of information and addressing the issues affecting Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments in Africa.
The delegates resolved to adopt these principles in their respective Parliaments. It is anticipated that the full adoption of these principles would enhance the delivery of legal services by the Legal Counsel serving in the various Parliaments in Africa and facilitate the creation of a knowledge base on legal services in Parliament.
Date: 3rd to 7th November, 2013
Venue: Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi Kenya
Theme: The Nairobi Principles: Two Years On
The objectives of the second Colloquium were to review the implementation of the Nairobi Principles two years after their adoption and to provide a forum to discuss various contemporary legal and Parliamentary issues.
The delegates resolved that membership to the Colloquium be open to all legal counsel serving in legal offices of the Parliaments in Africa at the national, sub-national and regional level and an administrative structure be set up consisting of a council made up of representatives the Northern, Western, Southern, Central and Eastern Regions of Africa who are to be elected by the delegates to the Colloquium and a secretariat to be located in Nairobi. In addition, the Clerk of the Senate of the Republic of Kenya was appointed as the Patron to the Colloquium. It was further resolved that the Colloquium be held once in every two years at a venue to be determined by the Council on a rotational basis.
Date: 28th to 30th October, 2015
Venue: Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
Theme: The Changing Roles of Legal Counsel Serving in Parliaments
During the 3rd Colloquium it was noted that there would be need to codify the Nairobi Principles and more importantly, find ways of having them implemented in the various legislatures in Africa.
It was further noted that there would be need to engage with other stakeholders who in one way or another interact with or impact on the functioning of legal counsel in Parliaments and in particular, the judiciary so as to continue the dialogue between the legislatures and the judiciary.
Date: 30th October to 3rd November, 2017
Venue: Commonwealth Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda
Theme: Emerging Global Trends: A Challenge for Legal Counsel to Parliaments
During the 4th Colloquium the delegates reviewed and adopted the Constitution and Election Rules with amendments. These will serve to guide the Colloquium in the conduct of its activities and election of office bearers, hence ensure the smooth administration of the Colloquium and effectiveness in the implementation of its objectives.
Participants to the Colloquium
The participants to the previous Colloquia have been as follows -
4. Burkina Faso;
5. Democratic Republic of Congo;
15. South Africa;
16. South Sudan;
24. The following Regional legislatures and entities -
(a) East African Community
(b) East African Legislative Assembly;
(d) East African Legislative Assembly
(e) Pan African Parliament;
25. delegates from the following legislatures at the sub-national level in South Africa -
(i) Free State Provincial Legislature;
(ii) Gauteng Provincial Legislature;
(iii) Limpopo Provincial Legislature; and
(iv) Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature;
26. Delegates from county assemblies in Kenya represented as follows -
a. Bungoma County Assembly;
b. Busia County Assembly;
c. Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly;
d. Kajiado County Assembly;
e. Kakamega County Assembly;
f. Kericho County Assembly;
g. Kilifi County Assembly;
h. Kisii County Assembly;
i. Kisumu County Assembly
j. Kwale County Assembly;
k. Laikipia County Assembly;
l. Machakos County Assembly;
m. Makueni County Assembly;
n. Meru County Assembly;
o. Migori County Assembly;
p. Mombasa County Assembly;
q. Nairobi County Assembly;
r. Nakuru County Assembly;
s. Samburu County Assembly;
t. Siaya County Assembly;
u. Tana River County Assembly;
v. Tharaka Nithi County Assembly;
w. Turkana County Assembly;
x. Vihiga County Assembly;
y. Wajir County Assembly;
z. West Pokot County Assembly
Experiences of the Africa Colloquium
The Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments has for the first time, brought together Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments in Africa. The Colloquium has provided an opportunity for networking, information sharing and inter-linkage amongst Legal Counsel serving in the various Parliaments in Africa. It has also provided an opportunity for capacity building and enhanced the service delivery by Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments.
The second Colloquium also brought in delegates from the County Assemblies and other sub-Parliaments in Africa, thus increasing the base for networking and experience sharing.
The benefits to the various Parliaments in Africa have so far been innumerable. In particular, the Colloquia have enabled the convergence, in one forum, of Legal Counsel serving in various Parliaments in Africa who have diverse wealth of knowledge, skill and experience. As a result, Legal Counsel in the various legislatures are able to tap into this knowledge and experience in one forum and acquire knowledge that would otherwise not be available through the traditional forms of training. The net effect of this is the enhanced capacity building of Legal Counsel with this translating to the better delivery of legal services to the Parliament of Kenya and the respective County Assemblies.
Calendar of Events
Fifth Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments
The 5th Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments is scheduled to be held this year from 29th October, 2019 to 31st October, 2019 at the Pan African Parliament, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Theme for the 5th Colloquium is “Efficient and Effective Parliaments in Africa: The Role of Legal Counsel”.
Preparations are on-going and for further information/clarifications please contact-
Mr. Clement Mavungu,
Pan African Parliament
Telephone No.: +27 727372383
Ms. Elizabeth Muhia, Principal Legal Counsel,
The Conference Organizing Secretary,
Telephone: +254 722 980014
Ms. Josephine Kusinyi, Principal Legal Counsel,
Telephone: +254 714 590365