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Monday 9 October (0930 - 1045)

Women Lawyers' Interest Group (Lead)
Law Firm Management Committee

Programme details

This joint session will be an interactive discussion between the panellists and delegates about the benefits and tools for law firms that find diversity important for their future business. The discussion will focus on the questions: What are the benefits for such a strategy? Why is diversity a business matter and not just a ‘nice-to-have’ strategy? How can this be implemented and part of the firm’s strategy?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

Poverty and Social Development Committee (Lead)
Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee

Programme details

Are developed nations and economies doing their share to eradicate poverty? This session will consider national case studies of the United States, Australia and Spain, all of which have serious and persistent problems with poverty. We will investigate what the legal profession is doing in each of these countries to lead the struggle against poverty rather than just support it or deny its relevance. We will also identify strategies and tactics for lawyers in law firms who want to do more to eliminate poverty in their own countries and communities, whether developed or still developing.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

IBA's Human Rights Institute (Lead)
Human Rights Law Committee
Immigration and Nationality Law Committee

Programme details

Has Australia become a detention society? The detention of refugees on Nauru and (until recently) Manus Island, and the attempts to address problems within indigenous communities, highlight the conundrum in balancing community needs with individual rights. This session is the first of a duo that is convened cooperatively by the IBA’s Human Rights Institute, the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and the Human Rights Law Committee. This session will accompany the second session in this suite: ‘Rights without borders?: Is the concept of asylum alive and well in a post-truth world?’, which is taking place on Tuesday, 0930 – 1230 and is also co-hosted by all three entities as well as the European Regional Forum. The first session will focus solely on Australia, while the second session will explore the current situation of refugees and asylum seekers in a global context. Therefore, in this session, a panel of experts will discuss issues related to asylum seekers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities in Australia both historically and in the present-day. The panel will explore relevant legislation, highlight the role of the legal profession and non governmental organisations (NGOs) and discuss whether innovative models can provide forward-thinking solutions that enhance the work of bodies such as the United Nations. The panel will discuss these issues in an informal way and will also participate in an audience Q&A. The IBA’s Human Rights Institute, the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and the Human Rights Law Committee look forward to sharing experiences and discussing the way forward with attendees of both this session and the session on Tuesday as they will complement each other, provide insight into these issues at a national and international level and, most importantly, provide an opportunity from legal professionals to meet and learn from each other.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

This panel will discuss a number of relatively recent major commercial aircraft accidents and incidents around the world. The discussion will include the government investigation stage, liability issues involving various parties and the status of litigation. The respective interests of the claimants, airline, aircraft manufacturer and others will be explored. There will be a comparative analysis of how air disaster litigation is handled in different countries.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

Academic and Professional Development Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Resilience refers to one’s abilities to survive adversities and thrive in life. The evidence indicates a higher rate of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and heart disease among lawyers than among the population as a whole. The attrition rate in law firms is high. Gender balance at the higher levels of the profession is not easily achieved. Resilience is recognised as a vital coping skill for not just surviving, but also thriving in the legal workplace with all its demands and challenges. In this session, we will explore how resilience might be developed and encouraged in individuals, in law firms and in the way educational and training programmes are structured and delivered. Given all the challenges around adapting to NewLaw, technology, new client demands, commoditisation and work/life balance, how can we make sure that, through training and education, both the experienced lawyer and new lawyer become more resilient and able to thrive in a dramatically changing profession? Can resilience be taught or is the answer ‘simply’ changing the culture and better management?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

Corporate Law Section (Lead)
Business Human Rights Committee
Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee
Corporate and M&A Law Committee

Programme details

The Volkswagen emissions case (also known as ‘dieselgate’) erupted in 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group (VW). The EPA alleged that VW had programmed turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing, potentially affecting about 11 million cars worldwide (500,000 in the US). VW then became the target of regulatory investigations in multiple countries, and received thousands of claims from car buyers and other third parties. VW’s stock price fell in value by a third in the days immediately following the news. Our speakers include an exciting combination of the lead US government investigator, VW outside counsel in Europe and buyer class-action counsel from Australia, as well as commentators on litigation and corporate social responsibility aspects. The panellists will bring their experience and insight to bear on a number of issues and questions arising from the VW case. This will be a very interactive session and will provide many opportunities for the audience to discuss these issues with highly respected experts.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (0930 - 1230)

Young Lawyers' Committee (Lead)

Programme details

This session will assist young lawyers and newcomers in navigating and making the most of the IBA Annual Conference, from tips on how to network effectively, assisting them in understanding the structure and function of the IBA, as well as becoming involved in its committees. This session will also look at the skills and knowledge required to become a successful international lawyer and aims to show which career ladder to climb.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (1000 - 1030)

Taxes Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Come and meet the officers of the Taxes Committee and old friends prior to the keynote speaker presentation that kicks off this year’s programme.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (1030 - 1115)

Programme details

Mr Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation, will share his views on various topics, including the transformation of the Australian Tax Office (ATO), bringing a business perspective and approach to the regulator, taking a leadership role in global tax issues, the ATO’s role in BEPS, the exchange of information and CBC reporting, and implementation of the multinational anti-avoidance law and diverted profit tax.

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Monday 9 October (1100 - 1230)

Bar Issues Commission (Lead)
General meetings

Programme details

This is the opportunity for Member Organisation Representatives to be updated on the status of ongoing projects in which the IBA is involved, and specifically those that touch on sensitive areas for bar associations. It will also allow them to find out what work is being planned, and propose subject matter and programmes for future activities within our very dynamic BIC.

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Monday 9 October (1115 - 1230)

Programme details

The Australian Chevron transfer pricing case has laid down a number of important principles of transfer pricing analysis that may be regarded as persuasive authority around the world. The panel will analyse the case and highlight key points of potentially worldwide application.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (1115 - 1230)

Programme details

For a long time, price effects have been the focus of merger review procedures in many jurisdictions – newly established and more mature systems alike. The yardstick by which to measure transactions has consistently been whether a transaction will result in customers paying more for the same products. Recent enforcement action seems to suggest a shift in focus: non-price effects are becoming more relevant for purposes of the assessment. Authorities realise that, in a world that is heavily driven by innovation – be it in computer software or raw material exploration services – the effect that consolidation may have on the development of new ideas for products and services may be just as relevant for consumer welfare as the development of prices of such services. This adds a significant dimension to the analysis, challenging merging parties, their advisers and third parties, as well as antitrust enforcers to come up with theories of harm (or justifications for their transactions) that appropriately describe the effects of such deals on competition in a modern world. Is this a trend that we are likely to see more of as the political landscape seems to shift in many places?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (1115 - 1230)

Programme details

The Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank is the first major international organisation established in the 21st century and the first major initiative by China in this area. The session will look at how this international organisation could become a model for future international cooperation at a time of increased criticism of globalisation and its benefits.

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Monday 9 October (1115 - 1230)

Law Firm Management Committee (Lead)
Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee
Real Estate Section

Programme details

Firms of all sizes are clearly looking at costs – the second biggest cost item (after salaries) is usually real estate. Square foot (or metre) cost per lawyer is a key performance indicator (KPI) on which many firms are increasingly focused. Office layout is a very hot topic – and not just for big firms; indeed, it may be much easier for small and medium-sized firms to make bold moves. This session will take a very broad-ranging look at office layout, and its impact both on cost and firm culture, including: • cost savings through a new approach to office layout; • given the growth of ‘flexible working’ providing ‘flexible offices’; • increasing efficiencies through office layouts; and • improving (or damaging) firm culture by office design.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Monday 9 October (1230 - 1330)

Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Monday 9 October (1230 - 1330)

Aviation Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Aviation Law Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Monday 9 October (1230 - 1330)

Communications Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Communications Law Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Monday 9 October (1230 - 1330)

Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Monday 9 October (1230 - 1430)

Arab Regional Forum (Lead)

Monday 9 October (1230 - 1430)

European Regional Forum (Lead)