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IBA Bar Leaders’ Conference and Mid-Year Meetings

13 June 2018

Law Council President, Morry Bailes; CEO, Jonathan Smithers and Deputy CEO and Director, International, Margery Nicoll participated in the IBA Bar Leaders’ Conference and Mid-Year meetings in Oslo. The Law Council President spoke on the role of bar associations in promoting trade in legal services at the conference, along with representatives from the United Kingdom, the United States and France.

The Law Council representatives also attended a number of bilateral meetings aligned with the Law Council’s policy agenda and discussed issues identified as strategic priorities for 2018.

This included a meeting with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Bar Issues Commission and discussion on the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA). The IBA was instrumental in providing a seeding grant to establish SPLA and following a request from the Law Council in Oslo, has offered to help rejuvenate the SPLA’s work program with potential funding opportunities. A funding proposal will be prepared by the Chair of SPLA, Dr Gordon Hughes, with assistance from the SPLA Secretariat.

The Law Council also met with James Klotz, Secretary-General of the IBA, regarding his work as Chair of the IBA’s Presidential Task Force on the Future of Legal Services. The discussion centred on ensuring the Law Council could benefit from the extensive research undertaken by the Task Force and some helpful outcomes resulted.

Meetings were also held with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) to discuss policy on death penalty abolition. The JFBA has requested the Law Council’s material on the history of the abolition of the death penalty in Australia. Other matters discussed with the JFBA included access to justice issues; legal aid; foreign lawyer regulation and transparency in criminal interrogation. A larger meeting was also held with other members of LAWASIA with the assistance of the Korean Bar Association, and discussion centred on the upcoming Presidents of Law Association in Asia (POLA) Conference in Canberra, in August and the next LAWASIA Conference to be held in Cambodia.

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