The purpose of the AJ Conference – Pathways to Democracy – is to find innovative solutions through debate, discourse and consensus building amongst different stakeholders. The topics that will be discussed will be critical legal issues impacting democratic rights and the rule of law in Pakistan.
AJ Conference will also enhance the institutional capacity and network of AGHS Legal Aid Cell as well as bar councils under the umbrella of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Bar councils have usually played a prominent role in taking positive stands for upholding the rule of law, due process and fundamental rights. The legal team at AGHS Legal Aid Cell in collaboration with the PBC and SCBA is a credible platform to articulate the interests and aspirations of the legal profession. AGHS has an exemplary track record of serving the public and the profession through advocacy, defending justice and human rights, promoting professional excellence, and respect for the rule of law.
It is expected that there will be over 5000 virtual participants as well as over 500 attendees at the venues across Pakistan and internationally. In collaboration with the PBC and the SCBA, invitations will encourage the participation of judges, politicians, policy makers, journalists, women lawyers and leadership of the District Bar Councils.
There will be greater focus on gender balance and we will invite women judges and lawyers from across Pakistan. Women’s representation will feed into discussions and strategies required to diminish discrimination and patriarchal practises from the legal profession, and to mainstream the role of women in the justice system. A large network of women lawyers selected from District Bar Associations from all over Pakistan will be invited to participate virtually to continue the legal network that was formed in the 2018 and 2019 conferences.
We will form institutional alliances with law universities and colleges so that we have students involved as participants. In both conferences in 2018 and 2019 there were over 300 student volunteers. Previously the Conference Committee received feedback from students that there are very few events such as these for them to engage in and learn from practitioners and international jurists.