Welcome to E-news, 30 November 2010


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Welcome to E-news -
30 November 2010

Mark Pieth, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery
Live IBA webcast and interactive Q&A session

Mark PiethThe IBA’s next live webcast interview and Q&A, on Thursday 16 December, will be with one of the world’s leading experts in combatting corruption. For 20 years, Professor Mark Pieth has chaired the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. In 2004, he was appointed by the UN Secretary General to the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme. In 2008, Professor Pieth was made a member of the Integrity Advisory Board of The World Bank Group (IAB), advising the President of the Bank and the Audit Committee on integrity issues.

This makes him a compelling choice for the interview, as the IBA develops its Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession alongside the OECD and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a project which focuses on the role lawyers play in international corruption.

The interview will be conducted by award-winning journalist James Lewis, the IBA’s Director of Media Content.

The interview will cover:

  • The significance and goals of the IBA/OECD/UNODC Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession;
  • Current and future challenges in combatting international corruption; and
  • The role that the legal profession and others can play in confronting corruption.

Online registration is necessary for this live event. You will be sent a reminder with access details to the e-mail address submitted in advance of the interview. Viewers are encouraged to participate in an interactive Q&A session.

Previous webcasts are available on the IBA film platform. These include interviews with:

  • Justice Richard Goldstone on human rights and international justice;
  • Stuart Popham, Senior Partner worldwide, Clifford Chance, on law firm management through economic crisis;
  • Professor John Ruggie, Special Representative of the UN Sec-Gen on business and human rights;
  • Judge Thomas Buergenthal talks about his incarceration in Auschwitz as a child, and discusses issues such as Kosovo and the West Bank Barrier.

The IBA will be planning further webcasts for 2011, details of which will appear in future editions of E-news.

  • To register for the Mark Pieth webcast click here.

IBA launches Student Committee

On 8 November 2010, the IBA announced the launch of its new student membership scheme, which allows full-time law students from around the world to join the Association. The new scheme was launched in partnership with the International Law Students Association, which organises the annual Phillip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

IBA Student Membership has been founded as a platform for students to access the wealth of information and experiences available through the IBA and its committees and fora. By joining the IBA as a student member, students will have the opportunity to bridge the gap between their academic legal education and future professional practice, becoming a part of exciting developments at one of the largest and most influential legal organisations in the world.

Opportunities available to students include accessing the IBA’s vast online library of substantive legal information including newsletters, journals and other publications as well as the opportunity to network with fellow law students and legal practitioners around the globe. The Committee will be sponsoring online writing and advocacy competitions in 2011, with the ability for IBA members to participate as judges. IBA members are encouraged to explore the student discussion boards to engage with the Association’s next generation of membership.

  • For more information about the new IBA Student Committee click here.

IBAHRI hosts panel discussion on the independence of lawyers in China

IBAHRI China panel discussion, November 2010On 10 November 2010 the IBAHRI hosted a panel discussion on the independence of lawyers in China. In spite of the last minute travel ban imposed by the Chinese authorities on panellists Mo Shaoping and He Weifang, travelling to London from Beijing for the event, the discussion went ahead at University College London. Human rights lawyer and former representative of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, Mo Shaoping, and He Weifang, law professor at Beijing University and a long-standing advocate of judicial reform in China, joined the debate via video conference from Beijing. Other panellists included Professor Jerome Cohen, law professor at New York University and advocate of legal reform in China, who also joined the debate via videoconference link, and Professor Fu Hualing, law professor at the University of Hong Kong, who teaches on human rights and has written about the challenges faced by the legal profession in China. The debate was chaired by Dr Kerry Brown, Senior Fellow at Chatham House.

Chinese lawyers continue to face numerous obstacles which prevent them from carrying out their professional duties. Most notably there is insufficient independence from the government. Only a small minority of lawyers in China have become involved with civil and political rights or broader public interest cases, and they are increasingly the targets of intimidation and abuse. The need for judicial reform is another factor affecting both the legal profession and access to justice for the Chinese population. Panellists discussed these important issues and the role that can be played by the international legal community. IBAHRI Co-Chair Martin Šolc has said ‘The fact that the Chinese authorities prevented them from physically leaving China shows how crucial it is to discuss the independence of lawyers and rule of law in China[…]’.

Request for public comment on the draft IBA Model Mining Development Agreement

MMDA logoThe IBA Mining Law Committee is developing a Model Mining Development Agreement, or MMDA.

This Model Agreement is intended as a practical tool for drafters that can assist in the creation of more equitable and transparent agreements that help promote the sustainable development of host countries and communities where mines are developed.

The MMDA is not intended as a prescriptive document, but as a tool that provides alternative drafting solutions for the principal issues in negotiation, in recognition of the wide variety of legal systems and conditions of development.

The Mining Law Committee has just released a new draft of the MMDA on the consultation website, www.mmdaproject.org.

This draft is available for public comment by all interested persons and organisations until 20 December 2010. There is provision for anonymous comment where appropriate.

On receiving the comments, the Mining Law Committee will then finalise the MMDA and make it freely available to users in early 2011.

It is the Committee’s sense that the issues posed by mining development agreements are extremely important to host countries that depend on minerals production as a path to development; communities looking for some sense of control of the impacts and opportunities presented by mine development; and investors, who are seeking more stability in conditions of investment. The quality of the Model Agreement will be much enhanced by receiving the widest possible range of opinion.

  • To view the MMDA 1.0 draft click here.
  • Read more about the MMDA in an article from IBA E-news, 27 August 2010.

IBA Joint Committee Project to give response on EU Green Paper on a European Contract Law

Two IBA Committees – the International Sales Committee and the European Regional Forum are working together to prepare a response to an EU consultation. The Commission of the European Union has issued a Green Paper on policy options for progress towards a European Contract Law for consumers and businesses and invited responses by 31 January 2011.

The Green Paper contemplates an instrument being adopted in relation to European Contract Law and sets out various options for the scope of such an instrument (for example, whether it should cover all contracts or only consumer contracts) and for its legal nature, including, in particular, whether it should be an official ‘tool box’ for EU legislation, or a Commission recommendation on European Contract Law or a Regulation setting up an optional instrument of European Contract Law or a Directive on European Contract Law or a Regulation establishing a European Civil Code.

Any such development would be of significance not only to lawyers from EU Member States, but also to lawyers from other countries worldwide.

The IBA, as a global association of lawyers, is particularly well suited to put forward to the European Commission the views and experiences of business lawyers throughout the world on the matters raised by the Green Paper. Responses have been collected from IBA members.

A working group has been established to review all comments received and then to prepare the submission to be made to the European Commission in January 2011.

IBA Middle East Office and IBA Business Crime Committee hold a symposium on Transnational Criminal Law for the UAE Ministry of Justice

On 27-28 October 2010, the IBA Middle East Office and the IBA Business Crime Committee held a two-day symposium on international criminal law for more than 60 judges, prosecutors and other officials of the UAE Ministry of Justice. The symposium took place at the Khalidiya Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. All delegates and speakers attended the symposium as guests of the Ministry of Justice.

The symposium focused on the 2000 United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, known as the Palermo Convention, that addresses the investigation and prosecution of international organised crime and other cross-border criminal activity. The speakers also discussed relevant recent legislation, including the 2010 UK Bribery Act, scheduled to come into effect in April 2011, as well as more established conventions and laws designed to combat money laundering, organised criminal activity and the bribery of government officials, such as the 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the 2007 UK Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The symposium was presented by IBA Business Crime Committee members, Fabio Cagnola, Studio Legale Bana, Milan; Jan Lawrence Handzlik, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Los Angeles and San Francisco; Dr Marc Henzelin, Lalive, Geneva; Barry Pollack, Miller Chevalier, Washington, DC; and Brian Spiro, BCL Burton Copeland, London.

Dr Abeer Jarrar, Director of the IBA Middle East Office in Dubai, reported that ‘this symposium is only the first in a series of additional events the IBA has been discussing with the UAE Ministry of Justice, and we expect to continue to strengthen our relationship with the Ministry through on-going collaborative efforts such as the recent symposium.’

Overview of IBA conferences for 2011

IBA Conferences 2011 - banner

Conferences fulfil one of the IBA's most important objectives – the promotion of useful contacts and interchange between legal professionals throughout the world – as well as providing a forum for the dissemination of specialist information on all areas of the law.

The IBA stages multiple events each year in major business centres throughout the world, focusing on various areas of practice. Conferences are open to both IBA members and non-members, with discounted rates offered for early registration and IBA members.

Attendance at IBA conferences is a great way to meet your Continuing Professional Development requirements. All IBA Conferences carry CPD/CLE accreditation – please see individual conference programmes for details.

Follow the link below to find preliminary details of IBA events for 2011 with links to relevant conference mini-sites, where you can either register in full for the conference, or register your interest to attend where full programme details are pending. By registering your interest you will be sent full programme and registration details as soon as they become available.

  • To view the IBA's 2011 conferences click here.

Other news from the IBAHRI

IBAHRI issues Malaysian trial observation report

The IBA's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has issued a trial observation report which raises serious concerns about the effect of the Internal Security Act (ISA) on due process and rights of defence in Malaysia. The in-depth report 'Malaysia: the delicate balance between security and due process', follows the detention and trial of Raja Petra Kamarudin (Raja Petra), editor of the online newspaper Malaysia Today accused of publishing articles on his website which allegedly tarnished the leadership of Malaysia and maligned Islam.

Owing to concerns that Raja Petra's arrest may have been politically motivated and that he might not receive a fair hearing, the IBAHRI arranged for observers to attend the hearing for his habeas corpus application. Based on the observation of Raja Petra's trial and subsequent interviews and additional research, the IBAHRI maintains that the ISA is inappropriate legislation and calls for its repeal.

IBAHRI / Instituto Innovare Special Prize to be presented in Brazil, 3 December 2010

Brazil flagThe IBAHRI has teamed up with Instituto Innovare, a Brazilian non-profit organisation that aims to encourage the improvement of the Brazilian justice system, to launch a special prize for improving access to justice in pre-trial detention as part of the 7th Annual Innovare Awards scheme.

This initiative follows up on one of the key recommendations of the HRI 2010 report on Justice in Brazil: ‘One in Five: the crisis in Brazil’s prisons and criminal justice system’ – to encourage the development of incremental, home-grown reform.

The Innovare/IBAHRI 2010 special prize will be awarded to the judge, public prosecutor, lawyer or public defender whose practice or programme has in the view of the jurors made the most significant and innovative contribution to improving access to justice in pre-trial detention in Brazil.

The Instituto Innovare Award Ceremony is a prestigious event that will be attended by the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and will take place on 3 December in Brasilia, Brazil. HRI Programme Lawyer Alex Wilks has worked with Instituto Innovare to pick the winner, to develop the prize and will be in Brasilia for the presentation of the award.

IBAHRI writes open letter to President Calderón of Mexico

IBAHRI open letter to President of MexicoEarlier this month the IBAHRI wrote to the Mexican authorities expressing concern that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights judgment in the Rosendo Radilla case has not yet been implemented by the State, almost one year after the judgment was made.

The Inter-American Court found the Mexican state responsible for the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco in 1974, during the so-called ‘dirty war’ in the state of Guerrero. In its judgment the Court set out specific obligations for the state to comply with, including prompt and effective investigations into the fate and whereabouts of Rosendo Radilla; legislative reforms so that civilian tribunals are used in all cases where civilians are victims of human rights violations instead of military tribunals; and reparations to the Radilla family and members of AFADEM (Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos, Desaparecidos y Víctimas de Violaciones de los Derechos Humanos en México). However, the IBAHRI is deeply concerned that the Mexican State has not yet fulfilled these obligations.

  • To view the open letter to President Calderón of Mexico, please click here.

The IBA/College of Law LLM in International Legal Practice evolves with full-time study in London

January 2011 will see the start of a new phase of the highly practical and popular LLM in International Legal Practice, when the first batch of students from around the world will begin the first attendance based, eight-month study option at the London Moorgate Centre of the College of Law.

Up until now, legal professionals and young lawyers from around the world have been studying the LLM via the College’s innovative supervised or ‘S-mode’ learning method, where study is online with one-to-one online supervision from a College tutor.

Potential students can now choose between the flexible S-mode delivery, which typically takes around two years to complete, and the focused, eight-month study option in London, England.

The enrolment deadline for the full-time LLM is 13 December, while the deadline for the on-line S-Mode option is 10 January 2011. Full enrolment details can be found on the College of Law website.

Free LLM webinar, 6 December 2010

A web-based seminar designed to answer questions from potential LLM students is to be broadcast by the College of Law at the beginning of December.

The free hour-long webinar will involve presentations from both tutors and current students, who will explain the LLM experience and detail the range of specialist modules and flexible study arrangements available on the innovative course. Places are limited so sign up for the webinar now.



IBA Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee Annual Pro Bono Award 2010

Pro Bono Award winner 2010 - Angeline WelshThe IBA Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee presented its first annual award to Angeline Welsh at the PPID Showcase on 6 October as part of the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver. Ms Welsh, a senior associate in Allen & Overy’s international arbitration practice, created a voluntary programme where her colleagues answer queries on human rights infringement. The programme, now in its seventh year, has over 80 volunteers and has dealt with approximately 1,400 queries.
Ms Welsh also works with the charity Bail for Immigration Trainees contesting immigration detention in the UK, and has also personally represented extradition and death row cases in the Jamaican and Belize courts of appeal.

The award was presented by Robert Stein Chair, PPID; Robin Sully Chair, Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee; Tim Soutar, Vice-Chair, Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee; and Ken Thompson LexisNexis, (award sponsor).


IBA Young Lawyers' Committee Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award 2010

Young Lawyers' Award winner 2010 - Natalie PrescottThe Young Lawyers’ Committee was once again delighted to present the IBA Young Lawyers’ Committee Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award in recognition of William Reece Smith Jr. The award, which is sponsored by LexisNexis, was presented to Natalie Prescott.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Young Lawyers’ Reception at the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver, 7 October 2010 It was presented by Fernando Pelaez-Pier, IBA President; Robert Stein Chair, PPID; Ken Thompson LexisNexis; Eric Rieger Chair, Young Lawyers’ Committee; and Henry Z Horbaczewski, Corporate Counsel Forum Advisory Board Member.


IBA membership

New Member Newsletter September 2010Help us increase our network. If you know of anyone who would benefit from membership of the IBA please download our updated New Member Newsletter and e-mail them a copy. As a part of the membership benefits it should be noted that the majority of our conferences have both a member and non-member fee. If your colleague wishes to attend a conference they can save money by signing up and the getting the discounted fee. Furthermore any new members joining the IBA will pay for 2011 and receive the remainder of this year for free.

If you have yet to renew for 2010 we urge you to do so. The current economic situation has underlined the need for a global perspective. The IBA recognises this need and our numerous publications, networking opportunities and comprehensive set of specialist conferences are designed to support our position as the global voice of the legal profession. You can alter and pay your current membership invoice in the ‘My IBA’ section of our website.

Please feel free to use this opportunity to give us feedback by sending us your thoughts to member@int-bar.org.