From 26 to 30 August 2012, Sofia is to host the 75th World Conference of the International Law Association, based in London. The International Law Association /ILA/ was established in 1873 and is the oldest professional organization of lawyers in the world. Bulgaria joined ILA on August 25, 1962 and this year the Bulgarian International Law Association celebrates its 50-year anniversary. Out of 193 countries in the UN, only 47 are members of the ILA, said in an interview for Radio Bulgaria Prof. Alexander Yankov, founder and president of the Bulgarian branch of the organization.
For the first time in the history of this international organization, such a conference is held in the region of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea and is hosted by Sofia. This is very interesting because there has been no such international forum in neither of our neighboring countries - Turkey, Romania, Greece, nor in countries across the Black Sea such as Russia. This is very important and prestigious for Bulgaria.
The most representative forum of the ILA is held every two years. The previous 74th Conference was held in August 2010 in The Hague. Sofia now expects participants from dozens of countries around the world, Professor Yankov says:
We will welcome about 40 participants from Japan, 20 from the Netherlands -, 20also from Germany, and 42 from Britain. This is not a coincidence. The organization needed to enter eastern Europe and the Black Sea region to complement its activities. So now we are expecting participants from 54 countries around the world, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, etc. We expect over 400 experts in international law, public international law and private international law. For us, it really is a remarkable phenomenon, and for this international organization - an addition to its work in our area, which has never been done in its nearly 140-year-long history.
The forum in Sofia will have on its agenda the recurrent topics of pollution and peacekeeping as well as other relevant issues. 32 agenda items were proposed by members of the ILA and 12 - by Bulgaria in various fields of international law, but also directly related to the Balkan region and its problems. Therefore, the Balkans will have a serious involvement at the 75th Conference of the organization, says Professor Yankov:
The interesting thing about the program is that it will also deal with the interaction on the Danube which is also Bulgaria’s northern border. Therefore the importance of the Black Sea and the Danube River will be one of the highlights. So far it has not been considered in legal terms as an international mode of interaction in the region. For Bulgaria the issue of the international regime of the Danube and the establishment of the world river-sea transport system is extremely important. Danube is the most international river in the world, although it is the second largest in Europe after the Volga River in Russia. We will also discuss issues concerning the Arctic region. There will be topics related to international arbitration. Here are the main problems are not simply political, but above all concern international legal affairs. Some of them, for example, are linked to piracy and criminal acts at sea - a very serious problem in the world today.
The 75th Conference of the International Law Association will officially open on August 27 in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and will be officially closed in the auditorium of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ". The main debates and activities, however, will take place in the halls of the National Courthouse. The Bulgarian Honorary Organizing Committee includes the chairman of the Constitutional Court Prof. Evgeni Tanchev, the chaiman of the Supreme Court Prof. Lazar Gruev, the Supreme Administrative Court Georgi Kolev, Chief Prosecutor Boris Velchev and the inisters of Justice and Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Diana Kovacheva and Nikolay Mladenov . The participants from the International Honorary Council include Prof. Gilbert Guillaume of France - a former head of the International Court of Justice, Hans van Loon from the Netherlands who is Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Prof. Anatoly Kapustin-chairman of the Russian branch of the ILA, Prof. Eduardo Grebler who is President of the Brazilian branch of the ILA, etc.
English: Rossitsa Petcova