Introduction by the President of the International Bar Association
Welcome to the International Bar Association’s Annual Conference in Dublin. The city has a great deal of history to explore, fabulous culture and folklore and for those taking in more of Ireland, amazing landscapes to enjoy. You can be sure of a very warm welcome in this city and a wide-ranging conference programme tackling the key issues of our profession today.
In a year where we celebrate our 65th Anniversary I am proud to look back at the roots of our Association and see that today, we continue to uphold the purpose for which we were formed. I quote to you from the minutes of the inaugural meeting of the IBA held in New York in 1947:
‘What we will be able to accomplish will depend upon the loyalty and the faithfulness of persons like yourselves who have made this meeting possible. Lawyers are looked upon by the peoples of the world as their leaders, and by contributing ourselves, our time, we can undertake to accomplish the things that they hold dear, such as for instance the improvement of the administration of justice under the law. By devoting ourselves to the principles and aims of the United Nations we can make a real contribution to world peace and neighbourliness. These are high objectives which we have set out for ourselves’.
High objectives indeed, but looking at the extraordinary work carried out today across 73 committees covering every area of law I believe that those who attended that first meeting would be proud of what the IBA has achieved. And we want to do more. My number one priority as President has been to urge lawyers to focus their expertise on how we can help and support the many thousands of people worldwide affected by the severe economic crisis that began four years ago. As such, I set up an IBA Taskforce that looks at ‘Challenges for the Legal Profession post GFC’. This Taskforce is bringing you a series of ‘President Priority’ sessions during the week that tackle these challenges and provides recommendations for how we, as lawyers, can contribute to the sustainable development of the world economy, alleviate poverty and improve the prosperity of people through legal reform and justice. I urge you to attend in particular, the PPID Showcase ‘Lawyers Against Poverty’ to hear Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus. All the President Priority sessions are highlighted in the programme.
In closing, I hope your experience here will inspire you to get involved in our work during the rest of the year. Please feel free to talk to me, other IBA Officers or members of staff, to let us know of your interest so that we may keep in touch with you after the conference.
With warm regards for a wonderful week.
President, International Bar Association
Message from the Chair of the Legal practice Division
I am delighted to welcome you to Dublin for the IBA’s 2012 Annual Conference.
Once again, the Legal Practice Division (LPD) has put together an impressive range of sessions addressing the legal issues faced by international practitioners in the current global economic environment. In addition to covering “hot topics” in virtually all specific areas of practice, our Regional Fora and committees will be covering the broad spectrum of issues raised by developments in investment and trading activities among emerging economies as well as with developed markets, regional and bilateral agreements, and what they mean for the clients we advise. Continuing economic integration and globalization are creating the need for a global mobile workforce and fundamentally changing employment relationships. We will have sessions addressing the legal, regulatory and policy issues that will need to be navigated in this environment. Our sessions will also focus on governmental and regulatory responses to the impact on our environment and sustainable development posed by global industrialization and population growth. We will also continue to address the legal and practical risks in the pervasive use of social media and fast adoption of cloud computing by individuals and businesses and offer best practices on how to manage them.
And of course, we will address the continuing and far reaching impact of the prolonged global economic downturn on businesses and sovereign entities. Consistent with this theme the LPD, with our European Regional Forum, will present its Showcase session on Tuesday morning titled “The euro area crisis – thinking the unthinkable” where we will addressthe crises in the euro area that have exposed the European and national legal systems to issues which have not been considered before. We will have leading regulators, financiers and lawyers with an insight into the difficult discussions looking for solutions.
As always, our thought-provoking sessions will provide a forum for shared experience and debate and will draw on the knowledge of leading experts from jurisdictions around the world who work on the cutting edge of international practice and help shape the way we solve the issues facing us. You will gain invaluable knowledge directly from your peers and will be provided with incomparable networking opportunities.
Alongside these hardworking days, I hope that you will spend some time enjoying our very special programme of social events, which feature the cultural best Dublin has to offer, including the spectacular opening and closing parties and mid-week gala evening of Irish music and dance.
The IBA Annual Conference is a special opportunity each year for international practitioners in every field to bring together their expertise for the benefit of all. There is no better occasion for lawyers to gain meaningful and interesting substantive knowledge on such a broad scope of topics, while at the same time enjoying the pleasure of seeing old friends and making new ones.
Chair, Legal Practice Division
Message from the Chair of the Public and Professional Interest Division
Iam so pleased that you have joined us here in Dublin, a wonderfully vibrant cultural centre which provides a perfect setting for our week together.
The Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) once again promises to give you access to the latest expertise and debate on issues integral to the legal profession and also on broader issues affecting society at large having prepared excellent sessions that focus on topics such as legal education, anti-corruption, corporate social responsibility, judicial independence, and the changing nature of law firm management among many others.
The diversity of these sessions is typical of the PPID which zeroes in on the issues that are at the heart of the profession for every lawyer regardless of experience, specialism and geography. This is particularly exemplified through the inclusion of other issue areas such as the rule of law and professional ethics as well as particular interest groups such as young lawyers, senior lawyers, judges and women lawyers under the auspices of the PPID.
Our showcase session this year will focus on how the legal profession can be a worldwide driver and facilitator of the very difficult social, economic, and political changes that are needed, in every country in the world, to eliminate the terrible consequences of poverty: ignorance, disease, economic exploitation of the poor, and inaccessibility to basic human and civil rights. These changes – and the response of international organisations like the IBA – are even more challenging because the best way forward in each country is shaped by local customs, socio-economic forces, political environments, and tradition.
Another exciting feature this year is the identification of Presidential Priority Sessions connected to the culmination of the Second Phase of the Presidential Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis. These sessions include not only the PPID Showcase, but also a variety of other related sessions taking place throughout the week. You can read more about these sessions and the taskforce on page x.
I am sure that you will take full advantage of the opportunities offered to you at this year’s Annual Conference and I very much look forward to seeing you in Dublin.
Peter D Maynard
Chair, Public and Professional Interest Division
Message from the Chair of the Bar Issues Commission
As Chair of the Bar Issues Commission, I’m delighted to share a few words.The Bar Issues Commission supports the interests of the IBA’s Member Organisations and the 205 bar associations and law societies representing more than 126 jurisdictions around the world. In addition to organising programmes and conferences that address the issues facing our profession, through the Commission’s Policy Committee, we grapple with the thorny matters that are best addressed by an international body representing lawyers globally. We are especially proud of our most recent work, ‘IBA General Principles for the Legal Profession’, and the document’s accompanying Commentary. Many other exciting projects are currently underway, including guidelines for bar associations and law societies on anti-corruption measures for the legal profession, and the creation of an IBA website on the legal profession’s core values.
In Dublin, I invite you to participate in the Bar Issues Commission’s thought-provoking programmes. The programmes promise to be controversial, touching some of the legal profession’s current hot buttons. Sessions will explore the public perception of lawyers; examine what actually constitutes legal services and minimum legal training requirements and consider alternative business structures for legal practices.
In addition to these substantive and thought-provoking sessions, an Open Policy Committee breakfast meeting will provide an update on current Bar Issues Commission projects and an opportunity for Member Organisations to recommend projects that we can initiate in the future.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. Your guidance and feedback is critical to the Bar Issues Commission’s success.
James M Klotz
Chair, Bar Issues Commission
Message from the Co-Chairs of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is pleased to welcome you to Dublin for another successful IBA Annual Conference! As has been done in the past, the IBAHRI will host a variety of keynote and topical sessions relating to human rights, the region and the global legal profession.
This year’s IBAHRI leading session Terrorism: Rules or Reconciliation? discusses the law’s response to terrorism and whether reconciliation processes are more effective than rules, with expert speakers from both the international and Irish perspective. In addition, the IBAHRI will host a joint session with the Judges Forum on judicial independence and will co-present a session on same sex marriages and civil unions with the LGBT Working Group - The Tie That Binds: Same-sex marriage, civil unions, or just friends? Why the difference matters.
On the Friday, at the Rule of Law Symposium, we will present the 2012 IBA Human Rights Award, recognising the outstanding achievements of a lawyer making a substantial contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights.
Dublin will also be host to the second plenary meeting of the IBAHRI Task Force on Illicit Financial Flows Poverty and Human Rights. This exciting new project convenes well-respected lawyers, leading academics, tax experts and development and human rights authorities, to contribute to an innovative report analysing how illicit financial flows, and specifically the proceeds of corporate tax evasion, impact on poverty and as such are a human rights concern.
The IBAHRI will also hold its biennial general meeting in Dublin and we invite you to join us and put to the IBAHRI Officers any questions and suggestions you have relevant to the Institute’s work.
I look forward to seeing you in Dublin.
Sternford Moyo and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Co-Chairs, International Bar Association Human Rights Institute