Asian Law Students Association (ALSA) will kick off its annual week-long conference for 2018 in Colombo on Sunday, drawing over 200 law students and alumni members from 16 countries in Asia for a series of academic and non-academic activities.
It will be the first time Sri Lanka hosts the Asian Law Students Forum, though ALSA Sri Lanka (ALSA SL) previously hosted an ALSA Annual Conference in 2015 and ALSA International Moot Court Competition (AIMCC) in 2016.
The ALSA is an international consortium of 12,000 law students and alumni members located in 16 countries all across the Asian region. The ALSA Forum is the biggest international event of the organisation.
The ALSA Forum is the flagship activity of the association, which is a week-long conference that brings together more than 200 law students from its member countries for a series of academic and non-academic activities.
Since 2004, the event has been hosted for 13 consecutive years in different Asian countries. The process of selecting a host country was consequent to a bid won by them at each ALSA forum followed by an election at the annual general assembly. ALSA SL was privileged to win the bid last year at the 14th ALSA Forum in Singapore.
Held between the months of August and September every year, it marks the beginning of ALSA’s academic calendar, wherein the annual ALSA General Assembly, Governing Council Meetings, and International Board elections are held. In addition to this, various talks and table discussion groups are prepared by the organisers in line with the overarching theme for the conference.
The conference will begin on 8 August at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana at 10 a.m.
The ALSA Sri Lankan chapter was established in 2013 as an affiliation of the Law Students Association of Sri Lanka (LSASL) and has since then come to be known as ALSA SL.
Over the years, ALSA SL has undertaken the organising of various educational activities for its members, whilst also giving them the opportunity to participate in ALSA events on an international platform. To this date, they are the only student association representing all private and government legal educational institutions.
Their primary vision is to create legal awareness, encourage academic and cultural exchanges whilst also building stronger relationships among Asian law students as a way of effectively contributing to the international legal community.
ALSA SL is further subdivided into 12 local chapters with an active membership of approximately 1600 students, and also includes a National Council (LSASL) to oversee all their activities.
The local chapters are the most approachable in terms of interaction. Both the National Council (LSASL) and local chapters work closely together to achieve the objectives of the organisation by formulating plans of action and cooperating with other institutions. Furthermore, each year, ALSA SL organises various educational activities for their members. These include table discussions, debates, academic visits, ALSA camps, legal seminars, legal training and workshops, etc.