About Annual Jurists Conference

The Annual Jurists Conference organized by the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists brings together members of the Bench and the Bar as well as other participants from the African continent and around the world to discuss various issues.

The Jurist of the Year Award is an annual award that seeks to give recognition, acknowledgment and encouragement to jurists who have consistently, fearlessly and impartially promoted the rule of law and human rights in Kenya during the year. The award has been given out on the 10th December each year since 1993 to commemorate and honor the United Nations International Human Rights Day. As an advocacy tool to motivate jurists who engage in human rights work, the Jurist of the Year Award has no equal in the country.

Since 1993, the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists has bestowed The I.C.J. Jurist of the Year (JOY) Award to individuals who have consistently, fearlessly and impartially promoted human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Kenya during the year. The award seeks to give recognition, acknowledgment and encouragement to these individuals. The Award has traditionally been presented on December 10th in commemoration of the United Nations International Human Rights Day. The JOY Award has become an important fixture on the Human Rights Calendar of events in Kenya. It provides an opportunity for human rights defenders and actors to reflect on the gains in promoting human rights during the year and to chart the way forward for the future. There is also an opportunity to network and mingle in a less formal setting.

The recipients of the award are selected using criteria set out in the Society By-laws, to ensure objectivity and transparency.

The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) is a jurist, non-governmental, and not for profit making organization registered society. Its tripartite mandate is to promote and protect the Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy. ICJ Kenya commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
ICJ Kenya has been spearheading the campaign for the enactment of a Freedom of Information law since the year 2000. Freedom of information is a fundamental tool in promoting transparency and accountability in governance, which has a correlative effect on business.
In the absence of this law, information that is critical to corporate and industrial organisations or that would present new business opportunities is often withheld by the government in the traditional government custom of hording information, supported by draconian legislation such as the Official Secrets Act. This has led to unprincipled practises where only some individuals are privy to information which by its very nature should be competitive and accessible to all players in the business sector. Conversely, information to which all businesses should have access as a matter of right is available to only those that have ties with the state.

For this reason, ICJ Kenya seeks to raise awareness and advance its campaign on the need for a Freedom of Information law by hosting an inaugural annual football tournament dubbed The Uwazi Football Cup. The tournament is deliberately convened for business and corporate organisations and will bring together players from the banking, industrial and corporate sector which shall provide a relaxed platform for networking and showcasing the achievements of your prestigious institution. Participation in the tournament will be exclusively for the staff of the sponsoring corporations.