International barristers unite at World Bar Conference


Key topics such as the Rule of Law, free speech, and artificial intelligence were front and center at the World Bar Conference, where the Attorney General for England

and Wales, the Advocate General for Northern Ireland, and the Advocate General for Scotland delivered significant addresses.

Organized in collaboration by the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Council of The Bar of Ireland, the World Bar Conference took place over two days, from May 16 to 17, in Belfast and Dublin.

Victoria Prentis KC MP, the Attorney General for England and Wales, played a prominent role, participating in a panel discussion focused on the Rule of Law and the response required when statehood collapses. This panel included barristers from Northern Ireland, Australia, Scotland, and a representative from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

Prentis highlighted the importance of upholding the Rule of Law during conflicts, emphasizing the critical role of barristers in such challenging times.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton KC, the Advocate General for Scotland, addressed a panel on navigating freedom of expression issues in an increasingly digital world, examining the complexities legal systems face in this domain.

The Attorney General underscored the essential role barristers play in the justice system, whether in private practice or as employed counsel. She stressed the importance of their specialized and objective legal advice in helping clients understand complex legal areas.

"The World Bar Conference was a thought-provoking event, uniting barristers globally to discuss common challenges and share best practices. Only through such discussions can the profession effectively respond to contemporary issues," said Prentis.

During the conference, the Attorney General also engaged in bilateral meetings with Rossa Fanning, the Attorney General of Ireland, and Naomi Long MLA, Northern Ireland’s Minister of Justice. Additionally, both the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland met with Northern Ireland barristers and visited the Four Courts in Dublin.

This gathering of legal professionals facilitated a rich exchange of ideas and strategies, aiming to fortify the global legal community's approach to current and future challenges.

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