top of page

World Bar Conference 2016

Edinburgh, Scotland


The Independent Referral Bar: Retrospective and Prospective


The ICAB World Bar Conference took place in Edinburgh from 14 to 16 April 2016.  The Faculty of Advocates, the Scottish Bar, hosted the World Bar Conference for the first time since the inaugural conference in Edinburgh in 2002.  Its return provided an ideal opportunity to review the challenges that have faced the independent referral bars around the world since; how those have been responded to; and the challenges to come. Speakers reflected upon the changes in practice and circumstance in recent years, with an eye to a positive future of the independent bar.


As in previous years, the World Bar Conference brought together internationally renowned speakers and delegates to exchange ideas, and to discuss issues of importance and interest to members of the international referral bars.


Delegates heard from a star studded array of speakers. Speakers came from all of the bars that make up the International Council of Advocates and Barristers, and there were a number of external speakers. 


Key Topics

  • Standing up for the rule of law

  • The responsibilities of the independent Advocate in challenging circumstances

  • The future of the independent referral Bar from the point of view of the junior Bar

  • Core professional values

  • Challenges to independence from external forces (government, external regulators etc

  • The benefits of self-regulation

  • Direct access

  • Public access

  • Alternative business structures

  • Access to justice

  • Gender and diversity issues

  • The place of international law in the Common Law Courts



Keynote addresses were given by:

  • Lord Carloway, the Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland

  • Professor George Yarrow, Oxford University

  • Professor Richard Susskind, IT advisor to the Chief Justice of England and Wales

  • Mr Hon. Justice Frank Clarke, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland

  • Lord Neuberger, the President of the UK Supreme Court


Other speakers included:

  • Beatrice Mtetwa (Zimbabwe)

  • Mark Mulholland QC (Northern Ireland)

  • Dr Margaret Ng (Hong Kong)

  • David Anderson QC (England and Wales)

  • Bret Walker SC (Australia)

  • James Wolffe QC (Scotland)

  • Ron Paschke (South Africa)

  • Michael Forde (Northern Ireland)

  • Louisa Nye (England and Wales)

  • Patrick O'Sullivan QC (Australia)

  • Jeremy Muller SC (South Africa)

  • Gerry McAlinden QC (Northern Ireland)

  • Roy Martin QC (Scotland)

  • Judge Malcolm Wallis (South Africa)

  • The Hon. Justice Glenn Martin AM (Australia)

  • Winnie Tam SC (Hong Kong)

  • Vimbai Nyemba (Zimbabwe)

  • David Barniville SC (Ireland)

  • Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC (England & Wales)

  • Paul Mabey QC (New Zealand)

  • Esi Schimming-Chase (Namibia)

  • James Wolffe QC (Scotland)

  • Stephen Hockman QC (England & Wales)

  • Michelle Norton SC (South Africa)

  • Gráinne Larkin (Ireland)

  • Sir Christopher John Greenwood CMG QC

  • Kate Eastman SC (Australia)

  • Shaheed Fatima QC (England & Wales)


Click here to view the full list of papers from the 2016 World Bar Conference.


Click here to view photos from the 2016 World Bar Conference.

bottom of page