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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1045)

Programme details

Australia is the birthplace of modern litigation funding. In recent years, third-party funding has become a significant force in international litigation and arbitration. The funder, which has no prior interest in the dispute, funds the legal costs and expenses of a claimant, typically on the basis that the funder will be paid out of the proceeds of any recovery following a successful outcome. Funding offers benefits to claimants in terms of access to justice and spreading the risk of complex legal proceedings. Courts in many jurisdictions have determined that funding is permissible in appropriate cases, but the terms of the funding agreement may have to be disclosed and may require court approval. Challenges can be brought to the terms of the funding agreement by the opposing party. While funding provides considerable benefits to the claimant, it can also introduce legal and practical challenges for managing the relationship between the funder and counsel, as well as between counsel and the client. This session will explore the latest issues and trends in third-party funding, and include commentary from counsel, funders and an arbitrator on how funding has affected the conduct of litigation and arbitration. Counsel will address the challenges of the three-way relationship between the client, funder and counsel. The funders will address how they scrutinise legal claims and risks, the flexibility of funding arrangements and how they can be tailored to the needs of the claimant, and the extent of involvement that funders expect to have in the management of the dispute. The arbitrator will address the extent to which funding affects arbitration and potential conflict issues that can arise where funders are involved in multiple cases involving the arbitrator or their firm.

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1045)

Real Estate Section (Lead)
Corporate Counsel Forum
Young Lawyers' Committee

Programme details

Although lawyers are chasing business all of the time, occasionally lawyers get asked to make a formal ‘pitch’ for business, including transactional real estate lawyers. This kind of opportunity initially results in great enthusiasm, which is followed by the realisation that you will need to put a serious effort into preparing for the pitch while still fulfilling the rest of your daily responsibilities. That effort involves asking and answering a number of questions, including: • How should you organise your pitch? • Who should be involved in the pitch from your firm? • What should you try to find out about the target company you are pitching before making the pitch? • Should you deliver any materials to the target company before actually making the pitch? • Who from your firm should attend the pitch? • What materials should you bring to the pitch? • How should your firm follow up with the target company after making the pitch, but before the target company’s selection decision is made? • What should you do if you don’t win the business? These and other questions, and the challenges of pitching business, will be explored by our panel of experts, some of whom have been on both sides of such pitches during their careers.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Young Lawyers' Committee (Lead)
Senior Lawyers' Committee

Programme details

Partnership has long been a primary career goal for young lawyers starting their career at a law firm. This session will discuss from various angles if partnership is still a primary career goal for young lawyers, looking at challenges facing law firms and the impact on the legal profession.

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

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

Programme details

The session aims to consider a multiple jurisdiction response from the panel on the treatment of asylum seekers who enter (or are unable to enter) target countries. It and will draw on speakers from a number of the most-affected countries including the US, France, the UK and Australia. This session will complement the session ‘Race and refugee issues in Australia: are policies of detention and separation working?’, which is taking place at 0930 – 1230 on Monday and is also being jointly presented by the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, the Human Rights Law Committee and the IBA’s Human Rights Institute. The session on Monday will consider asylum seekers and refugees within the domestic setting of Australia, while this session will provide an overview of the international treaty framework imposing obligations on adhering countries to provide asylum and subsidiary protection. The session will examine whether the obligation of non-refoulement in international law, requiring signatory state actors not to return persons and vessels from state borders to conditions of danger or loss of liberty, could be used more proactively to provide urgent or immediate aid and assistance at border or entry points. We hope to explore the concept of a ‘humanitarian visa’ to allow legal entry of asylum seekers into the target country pending applications in order to rescue them from danger or save lives. The treatment of asylum seekers who have entered the target country borders whether on land or sea, and their conditions of detention pending application will be of special focus, including the legality of ‘warehousing’ and other forms of detention facilities. Finally, the overall framework for the discussion will consider the impact of media/social media coverage of the refugee crisis on host countries' responses to the idea of offering asylum. Is there evidence of a more tolerant response in countries where there is largely accurate factual reporting, for example, of numbers of migrants and refugees? Is there a growing intolerance towards the idea of asylum that is being encouraged or promoted within target countries as part of a political debate, which is becoming more hostile to the idea of asylum? Is mainstream media coverage predominantly accurate or are ‘alternative facts’ being utilised to amplify an anti-asylum message? Is social media being used to dehumanise migration politics and say the unsayable? Is misinformation creating a more intolerant environment at government level for debate around the issue of asylum and immigration generally? How can a counter-narrative be promoted consistent with international obligations? Is it in our mutual interests to do so? We are all excited by the opportunity to collaboratively discuss these issues in a domestic and international context across two sessions, and welcome contributions during both sessions from all legal professionals, regardless of geographical practice area.

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Space Law Committee (Lead)
Agricultural Law Working Group
Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee
Healthcare and Life Sciences Law Committee

Programme details

The session will introduce how satellites can contribute to facilitating ‘precision agriculture’, which means agriculture with a heavy reliance on data. It will then discuss how satellites can be used in enforcing agricultural and environmental laws. The session will also consider how satellites may enable more efficient farming (including fish farming) by the use of autonomous vehicles. For collecting data and observing non-compliance of regulations, earth observation satellites will primarily be used; for driving autonomous vehicles, navigational satellites will have a role to play. The session will then discuss what contractual and licensing framework will be used, as well as which legal issues are relevant, including those of the regulation of farming, environmental law, data protection law and intellectual property law besides space law.

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Corporate and M&A Law Committee (Lead)
Asia Pacific Regional Forum

Programme details

Part 1: Australia inbound M&A transactions – how to help your clients stay on top of things when investing down under Australia continues to see high levels of inbound M&A activity, with foreign investors searching for opportunities to invest and acquire in stable economic jurisdictions. So, what do your clients need to know when evaluating an acquisition down under? What does the economic and legal landscape look like for M&A transactions involving foreign investors? What regulatory requirements should they consider? What are the deal trends and key differences in market practice, deal structuring, execution and business culture in comparison with cross-border M&A into other major jurisdictions? These and additional issues, red flags and trends related to Australian inbound M&A transactions will be discussed by a distinguished, multijurisdictional panel. Part 2: Chinese investors on a shopping spree abroad The world has seen a steady rise in Chinese outbound investment, raising numerous legal issues in transactional practice. The new challenges the practioners have to deal with are, among others, Chinese investment control regulations, existing foreign trade control restrictions, most prominently in the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) and certain EU Member States, and in light thereof, the creation of deal certainty for the counterparties to Chinese investors.

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Mining Law Committee (Lead)
International Construction Projects Committee

Programme details

The increase in capital expenditure and the growing difficulty in obtaining permits required to build the infrastructure required by mining projects has led many mining companies to associate, or agree on other contractual techniques, which allow them to share the use of existing infrastructure or jointly construct new infrastructure. This panel will discuss cases of shared infrastructure in different jurisdictions, the challenges and difficulties implied, and the contractual techniques that have been used for such implementations.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Taxes Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Increasingly, political pressure on governments to act to limit perceived abuses of tax systems is leading to hastily introduced, ill-targeted legislation of dubious quality. In extreme cases, such legislation can even be retroactive. This approach sits uneasily with the rule of law, that is, the principle that a citizen of a country should be able to identify and understand the law as it applies to him or her on any given day. To what extent can departures from the rule of law be justified by the need to preserve the integrity of tax systems? What can be done where they are not? Can overarching principles of human rights law be invoked to constrain abuses of power by governments?

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Tuesday 10 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

Technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence, big data analytics and the internet of things, which were once the stuff of science fiction and futurists, have now well and truly arrived. The phenomenon of Pokémon Go, which is AR, has shown a little of the potential of AR in the entertainment area. However, clever scientists are now combining all these technologies to create breakthroughs, particularly for people with disabilities. For example, an Australian company, Psykinetic, is combining all these technologies in telekinesis to enable someone whose only function is his or her eyes to use the eye muscles to drive a car and another person with a disability to play a keyboard at a concert. Nevertheless, all these technologies raise a number of legal and regulatory questions. The session will give some insight into these technological developments, and will raise some of the liability and other legal issues and public policy concerns.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (0945 - 1500)

Insurance Committee (Lead)
Maritime and Transport Law Committee (Lead)

Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Programme details

In most jurisdictions, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees or candidates based on their religious or political beliefs. There are, however, major differences in the legal position when it comes to the requirement to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and practices in the workplace. In this session, we will address topics such as: • How are religious and political freedom defined? • What are the limitations on political discussion in the workplace? • How does the current legal position affect dress codes and the ability to express one’s faith? • What are the limitations in what the employer can ask for or refuse to do? • What is the impact of a number of precedent-setting EU court decisions?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

North American Regional Forum (Lead)
Media Law Committee

Programme details

This session will address the growing problem of piracy faced by content providers, which includes the theft and digital sharing of music, television programmes and motion pictures. Our expert panel will discuss the impact of digital piracy, and creative solutions to this worldwide problem. Panellists will include representatives from television networks, film studios, anti-piracy officers at major companies and practitioners dealing with on-the-ground legal strategies.

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Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

International Franchising Committee (Lead)
Technology Law Committee

Programme details

For (digital) marketing purposes, the collection and exchange of consumer data between the franchisor and franchisee is necessary, but who is responsible for security and today’s challenges of global data privacy compliance? Who should act in case of a data security breach? This session will explore compliance crisis situations, as well as contractual solutions to common problems.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee (Lead)
Asia Pacific Regional Forum

Programme details

Join the Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee for a lively and interactive session on foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI has been growing in the Asia Pacific region in recent years, with increasing attention in the media and from politicians as a result. Particular sensitivities have developed around certain types of assets and purchasers and various jurisdictions have adopted safeguards to address these issues. This session will consider cutting-edge trends in FDI regulation, including practical measures to address these issues and reduce deal uncertainty.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee (Lead)
Business Human Rights Committee

Programme details

After the Bangladesh factory collapse, there has been movement to hold companies accountable and liable for the behaviour of vendors in the supply chain. The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act both put the onus on companies to disclose and report their efforts to monitor their supply chains and ensure there are no human rights violations (or report they are doing nothing). What are employers doing to improve the working conditions in their supply chains? How far should this responsibility extend? What are directors’ duties and should they be held accountable? Companies need to comply with domestic laws that may apply to foreign incidents. The health and safety issues in developing countries are very real and companies are being held accountable – either legally or through public relations - for their related operations in these jurisdictions. What are best practices? Are the current supplier codes of conduct sufficient? What is the proper team to address these issues? Why are operational level grievance mechanisms not functioning (properly) and what type of escalation mechanisms do we need? This session will analyse legal requirements, as well as practical solutions. We will discuss why lawyers are important in this area and how they may contribute to designing policy by working with compliance and risk management professionals.

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Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Insolvency Section (Lead)
Creditors' Rights Subcommittee

Programme details

Building on the results of a panel discussion at the 20th Annual Global Insolvency and Restructuring Conference in Barcelona, 18-20 May 2014, this interactive panel revisits the important issue of the cost-efficiency of insolvency proceedings. The discussion will involve experienced insolvency practitioners from jurisdictions such as Singapore and Italy, which have recently reformed their insolvency laws, a judge from Australia who has been involved in recent high-profile cases, and a representative from the World Bank Group, with the aim to find out which elements make for a time and cost-effective insolvency procedure.

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Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Class Actions Committee (Lead)
International Commerce and Distribution Committee
Litigation Committee
Product Law and Advertising Committee

Programme details

Class actions and other collective redress procedures now exist around the world, but the differences and variety are important, particularly between the US and EU models. When product recalls occur or allegations of defect are made, consumers may clamour for compensation in many jurisdictions at once. Our panellists will debate the best approaches for both manufacturers and consumers caught in such situations, asking how the differences between jurisdictions can affect strategy. Where is a consumer most likely to be compensated fully and quickly? Where is a manufacturer most likely to be treated fairly? Where will the courts provide the greatest access to consumer claims for compensation? Will they permit extraterritorial claims? Whose claims will be included and what kinds of claims can be included? Will the court screen out frivolous claims or encourage early settlement? Is discovery available where necessary? Do cost and fee rules determine strategy? In light of these considerable differences among jurisdictions, how should the parties move towards resolution?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1145 - 1400)

Banking Law Committee (Lead)
Securities Law Committee (Lead)
Capital Markets Forum

Tuesday 10 October (1230 - 1330)

Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee (Lead)

Programme details

The Committee will consider issues of concern to members surrounding access to justice globally. In particular, the Committee will consider the implementation of suggestions for reform in both law and practice for those with disabilities. The meeting will deal with the guidelines for an effective legal aid system (following the Belfast roundtable and the release of drafts by the Committee in conjunction with the Bar Issues Commission), together with an examination of the issues of self-represented litigants arising out of the co-presentation with the Judges’ Forum. The Committee’s involvement in the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights and proposals for future action will be discussed. The Committee will review the essay and scholarship options for the 2017/18 year, and the involvement of regional fora and the Young Lawyers’ Committee in the Committee’s business programme moving forward. The involvement of committee members and officers in value-adding to IBA conferences and events in the ensuing year, together with a further membership strategy dialogue will also feature.

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Tuesday 10 October (1230 - 1430)

Asia Pacific Regional Forum (Lead)