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Wednesday 18 May (1400 - 1530)

Programme details

Certain principles of the legal profession transcend national borders and are accepted in both civil law systems. Among the
more obvious of these are rules relating to client confidentiality, competence and responsiveness, and conflict of interest, among
others. Over the past seventeen years, however, technological changes, the intervention of other actors involved in providing
what may be considered legal services, and the increased globalisation of cross border practice has raised the question as
to whether the old rules remain sufficient, whether their premises remain valid, and whether new rules should be in place.
The panel, from diverse geographical regions and legal systems, explores these questions to determine where we were, where we
are now, and whether not just core values, but the specific rules governing lawyer conduct, need to be changed, or whether they
remain sufficient.

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Wednesday 18 May (1600 - 1800)

Programme details

The unexpected pandemic meant a period of uncertainty and as these difficult times are ending, they should be reassessed by their impact on the Rule of Law. Rights and liberties have experienced unprecedented restrictions, a right to a fair trial, a right to a lawyer and access to court were not left outside of the impact, although use of technologies also could be used to improve access to justice.

Other recent developments in the world also cannot be disregarded. A crackdown and repressions on lawyers in Afghanistan, Belarus and other countries illustrate that a profession of lawyer is the last line of defense of the Rule of Law. Moreover, the migration crisis showed that access to lawyer and legal aid should be preserved in all times.

This session will be recorded.

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Wednesday 18 May (1900 - 2200)

Thursday 19 May (0900 - 1030)

Programme details

The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and the IBA Standards on Independence of the Legal Profession was adopted in 1990. Both have still worked as the principles of lawyers and the bar association to sustain the rule of law in the world. The IBA also adopted the Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations in 2015, which also purports to encourage the bar associations to implement the rule of law. The BIC has made efforts to support its member bar associations in their efforts to guard the rule of law in their respective jurisdictions in Europe, Africa, Asia/Pacific and Americas. In the session, the speakers will discuss what the IBA and its member bar association have done as guardians of the rule of law and what they should do further to ensure their roles in the future.

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Thursday 19 May (1100 - 1230)

Programme details

In recent years, the IBA has launched two major reports on the problems of bullying and sexual harassment and the crisis in lawyer wellbeing in the legal profession. Overall, the findings of these reports demonstrated that these are global and interconnected problems, with deep rooted causes. This session will be a roundtable discussion, focusing on what bars and law societies are, and should be, doing to combat these issues, including training, guidance, and even regulation where applicable.

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Thursday 19 May (1400 - 1530)

Programme details

Even before the pandemic changes in the law, practice and technology were focussing attention on what new lawyers were
taught, how they were taught and what they would do with what they have learned. Since early 2019 however the global response to Covid-19 has given us an idea of what the future practice of law will be like: virtual meetings, court appearances and a heightened attitude of flexibility in serving the client. This session which will bring together recognised experts in their fields is designed to examine what role Universities, Bar Associations and Law Societies have in the training of lawyers, and what will be expected of those bodies in the future. Issues which will be covered include: the development of legal education and the role which Bar Associations played; what Bar Associations do today to train lawyers; what clients, practising lawyers and aspiring lawyers will want by way of training in the future. 

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Thursday 19 May (1600 - 1730)

Programme details

A crisis for a Bar Association can take a very wide variety of forms. A voluntary-membership bar can start to haemorrhage members, for many different reasons, with financial and credibility risks to its very survival unless the causes of the crisis are effectively addressed. A regulatory bar can face a crisis of public confidence and consequent Government proposals to remove its regulatory powers. A bar can be subjected to a successful cyber-attack or a serious fire at its headquarters. A reputational crisis can engulf a bar or its members with deeply damaging effects in terms of public esteem. A bar can find itself on collision course with government if it publicly opposes ‘reforms’ that may undermine the incomes of lawyers, the rights of citizens or the rule of law itself. A crisis may be minor or major, but when one arrives it is likely to test the skill and resilience of a bar leader like nothing else. How you handle a crisis can define you and your organisation. Are there common themes and lessons to be learned from the variety of crisis experiences that bars have endured over recent years? A distinguished panel of speakers from a variety of bars will share their crisis experiences and what they have learned.

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Bar Issues Commission (Lead)

Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Thursday 19 May (1930 - 2200)

Bar Issues Commission (Lead)