BIC E-news - July 2010

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IBA Anti-Money Laundering Forum website

Membership of the BIC

Canadian Bar Association logoThe Canadian Bar Association

Federation of Law Societies of Canada - logoThe Federation of Law Societies of Canada

 

IBA Annual Conference, Vancouver, 3-8 October 2010

 
2nd Asia Pacific Regional Forum Conference, 17-19 November 2010, Tokyo International Forum, Japan
 

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E-news - July 2010

Contents


Editorial

Welcome to July's BIC E-news

The Bars in emerging economies continue to be engaged with issues which affect their members across the globe. Bar leaders from African countries discussed the potential impact on their members of an agreement on liberalisation of legal services being negotiated at the WTO at an IBA session organised a day prior to the IBA African Regional Forum Conference which took place in Cape Town in March 2010.

Bar Leaders' Conference, Copenhagen 2010 - coffee breakFollowing on from Cape Town, the IBA 5th Annual Bar Leaders' Conference in Copenhagen in May also provided a platform for similar debate. The opening session, entitled ‘Uniform rules v competition – what is the best approach to regulation?’, quickly turned into a debate on the advisability and extent to which foreign lawyers should be permitted under the WTO to practice law in other countries.

A panel of speakers representing Nigeria, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the Bar Standards Board of England, Prague, the Czech Republic and the US all discussed the topic from the divergent positions of countries either importing or exporting legal services. Discussion and debate both from the panel and the audience was lively, sometimes even animated!

Bar Leaders' Conference, Copenhagen 2010 - dinner at GroeftenThe consensus was that bar associations and law societies should have the power to regulate the legal profession and uniform rules are useful to establish standards to be followed by lawyers. On the other hand, more competition could be a way to lower the cost of legal services and may even deepen the legal services market.

Many participants from emerging economies expressed concern however as to the effect that the entry of foreign lawyers will have on their practices. To what extent does the entry of foreign lawyers need to be regulated and what methods of regulation are the most appropriate?

Bar Leaders' Conference, Copenhagen 2010 - Reception at GlyptotekThe International Bar Association's WTO Working Group, a small group of lawyers with expertise in international trade law, provides support to bar associations and law societies in this area. The Working Group has the primary responsibility of dealing with the WTO on behalf of the IBA. Its work has resulted in the IBA’s Resolution on Suitability of Applying to the Legal Profession the WTO Disciplines for the Accountancy Sector (2003).

The debate is likely to continue at the 2nd Asian Pacific Regional Forum Conference, taking place in Tokyo from 17-19 November, when global regulatory reform in the aftermath of the global financial crisis is discussed.

This edition of BIC E-news includes, as usual, your contributions from Bars around the globe and it is clear to see that regulation and legal reform remain key issues. Take a look at the work your fellow bar associations are undertaking in 'News from the Regions'.

The next issue will be published in December. Please send any short articles or items for this to Sibylle Duell at sibylle.duell@int-bar.org.

Olufunke Adekoya
Editor, Bar Issues Commission,
AELEX Legal Practitioners & Arbitrators

oadekoya@aelex.com


Message from the BIC Chair

Dear BIC members,

After a very successful Bar Leaders' Conference in Copenhagen with 136 registered delegates attending, we are now getting ready for the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver, in October.

We will again hold three round table secessions which will be under the overall topic 'Client lawyer relationship: what role do bar associations play in helping lawyers with their client relationships?' The individual secessions are entitled:

  • Money, money, money – the array of client fee arrangements
  • Lawyer liability
  • Guilty or not guilty – may or must a lawyer lie for the benefit of the client?

I look forward to seeing you all in Vancouver!

For the first time in its history, BIC has been affected by a tragic event. A few weeks ago, Steven C Krane, one of the members of the BIC’s Policy Committee, passed away unexpectedly. Steven was one of the finest members of the group of people which have made the BIC and its Policy Committee establish itself and grow. A brilliant expert on the laws related to bars and the conduct of the legal profession, fully reliable in all his undertakings, prepared to travel to remote places of the world for any good bar related cause and, on a person level, one of the most likeable persons I have ever had the opportunity to deal with. Our sympathies are with Steven’s family. We will always remember him and his contributions to the BIC and its Policy Committee.

  • To read Steven's obituary in the New York Times click here.


Michael Kutschera
Chair, Bar Issues Commission; Binder Grösswang Rechtsanwälte OG
kutschera@bindergroesswang.at


IBA Annual Conference 3-8 October 2010

Three-day pass for bar associations in Vancouver

Vancouver 2010 banner ad

The Management Board has agreed that Organisational Members of the IBA (Bar Associations and Law Societies) can be offered a three-day pass to attend the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver from Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 October.

The pass is being marketed only to bar associations and is not referred to on the main Vancouver website or in the main conference programme.

The details were sent out to bar associations on 10 June via e-mail. The three-day pass is only available to listed representatives of member organisations at the IBA who would appear as members in the IBA membership database.

Members wishing to apply for the three-day pass must complete the specific registration form and return it to Elaine Owen, Executive Assistant and BIC Project Manager by Friday 16 July. Applications will then be verified before being handed to the Conferences Department for registration.

  • To view full details click here.
  • To view the separate registration form click here.

News from the Bars

Canada

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approached the issue of domestic regulation by establishing projects to agree national bar admission and discipline standards. A Model Code of Professional Conduct to be adopted by its member law societies is virtually complete.

Nepal

The Law Society has prepared commentaries to support the understanding of a document it has prepared entitled Making a New Constitution through Constituent Assembly. This is to assist the members of the Constituent Assembly in the constitution drafting process.

Scotland

The Free Legal Services Unit (FLSU) of The Faculty of Advocates took an exhibition stand at the Social Enterprise Trade Fair at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange recently, to advertise their involvement in pro bono work.

Read more>>

Hong Kong

The Law Society of Hong Kong will support the Department of the Justice of the Hong Kong SAR Government as a co-organiser of the Hong Kong Legal Services Forum which will take place in Shanghai on 6 July 2010.

South Korea

Korean Bar Association is focusing on judicial reform and transparency by pressing for an increase in the number of judges appointed to its Supreme Court and a restructure of the court into judicial divisions. It is also pressing for complete publication of all judgments of the court.

Read more>>

Spain

The Barcelona Bar Association has spent the last three years building bridges and fostering relationships between its members and the legal and business communities in other parts of the world, ending with an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil this year. The Association is planning a similar event to take place in Barcelona in February 2011.


News in brief

Congratulations

We congratulate Mr Huen Wong who has been re-elected as the President of the Law Society of Hong Kong and Bâtonnier Jean-Marie Burguburu, elected as first Vice-President of UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats). We wish them both successful tenures of office and look forward to their continued involvement with the work of the Bar Issues Commission.


Human rights update

Liberia: IBAHRI to send legal specialist to support the Liberian National Bar Association

The IBAHRI will send a legal specialist to Liberia to conduct a strategic review of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA). Upon completion of a strategic plan for the LNBA, the IBAHRI would seek further funding to place a legal specialist in the country for a minimum of six months to help implement the plan’s recommendations and support the bar in building its capacity.

The LNBA is a 200+ membership organisation comprised of lawyers, students and judges. Fourteen years of civil war in Liberia has taken its toll on virtually every aspect of society and the legal profession is no exception. The office of the Secretariat needs significant strengthening, access to justice is a continuing problem, professional standards are low and there is a dire need for re-training of lawyers.

As Liberia continues to rebuild from the period of civil war, the LNBA will play a crucial role in strengthening the rule of law in Liberia. However, the LNBA currently lacks the financial and technical capacity to develop into the strong, self-regulating professional organisation that Liberia needs. A detailed strategic plan for the bar would help develop a concrete plan of action for the future, crystallise where technical, legal and financial assistance could be most beneficial, and build upon the progress that has been made to date.

In November 2009, the IBAHRI visited Liberia to attend the LNBA’s Annual Conference in Robertsport and to discuss, with members of the LNBA and its Executive, as well as other key stakeholders involved in justice sector reform, the LNBA’s challenges, successes, goals, strengths and weaknesses.

The IBAHRI has considerable experience in capacity building and providing assistance to bar associations and law societies in developing countries, including Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.


Profile of bar associations and law societies

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada

Federation of Law Societies of Canada - logo

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body, as well as the national and international voice of the 14 provincial and territorial governing bodies of the legal profession in Canada. Its member law societies are mandated by provincial and territorial law to regulate Canada’s 95,000 lawyers and Quebec’s 3,500 notaries in the public interest. The law societies set standards and confer licences for admission to the profession, establish and enforce codes of professional conduct, ensure the continuing competence of their members and administer professional insurance regimes to protect the public. In Canada, the interests of the members of the legal profession are represented by a number of provincial and national organisations, the most important being the Canadian Bar Association with 37,000 voluntary members.

Although its roots date back to 1926, the Federation’s national role has become more clearly focused over the last eight years with the advent of national mobility of the legal profession in Canada. Through the work of the Federation, each law society now recognises the licences to practise conferred by the other jurisdictions in Canada. As a result, the breaking down of inter-provincial barriers to mobility of the profession has focused the Federation’s efforts to arrive at national standards and to harmonise practices for all core law society functions. Current initiatives include projects to set national bar admission standards and national discipline standards. A project to approve a Model Code of Professional Conduct is virtually complete and member law societies are already moving to adopt it as their own.

The Federation is also the driving force behind CanLII, a freely accessible online legal research tool for Canadian laws and jurisprudence. In addition, the Federation runs the National Committee on Accreditation which evaluates the international legal credentials of individuals wishing to become members of a Canadian law society, and it sponsors national continuing legal education programmes in criminal and family law.

  • To learn more about the Federation click here.

The Canadian Bar Association

Canadian Bar Association - logo

Dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice, the Canadian Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organisation which was founded in 1896, and incorporated by a Special Act of Parliament on 15 April 1921. Today, the Association represents 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers, and law students from across the country. Approximately two-thirds of all practising lawyers in Canada belong to the CBA.

The mandate of the Canadian Bar Association is to:

  • improve the law;
  • improve the administration of justice;
  • improve and promote access to justice;
  • promote equality in the legal profession and in the justice system;
  • improve and promote the knowledge, skills, ethical standards and well-being of members of the legal profession;
  • represent the legal profession nationally and internationally; and
  • promote the interests of CBA members.

Through the work of its sections, committees and task forces at both the national and branch levels, the CBA is seen as an important and objective voice on issues of significance to both the legal profession and the public. The Canadian Bar Association has branches in each of the country’s 13 provinces and territories.

  •  To find out more about the Association click here.

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