Advocacy in the Spotlight as London Hosts World Bar Conference
29 June 2012
The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and
Wales, in partnership with Inner Temple, will from today host the
annual World Bar Conference in London, which will see 350 delegates
from numerous jurisdictions descend on the city to discuss topics
around the theme "Advocacy past, present and future: constant
values for a modern Bar."
Highlights of the conference programme include an opening
address by the Chairman of the Bar Council, Michael Todd QC; the
keynote address by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales,
Lord Judge; and workshops on a number of topics, including advocacy
against the odds, chaired by Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, and advocacy
at public enquiries, chaired by the Rt Hon Lady Justice
In his opening address to the Conference, Michael Todd QC will
"The independence of the judiciary from Ministers and of
Government, from vested interests of any kind, from public and
parliamentary opinion, from the media, from political parties and
from pressure groups, is fundamental to the Rule of Law. That is to
say, Judges must be independent of anybody or anything which might
lead them to decide issues coming before them on anything other
than the legal and factual merits of the case.
"[…] actions by Government may have a very real effect on
external perceptions of our justice system and of the independence
of our judiciary. Only recently eyebrows have been raised: first,
at our Home Secretary's suggestion of guidelines being issued in
relation to deportation cases, no doubt to assist our judiciary in
balancing the relevant factors when considering Article 8 of the
Convention; and second, at the need and scope for "secret
"The Rule of Law cannot survive, let alone thrive, if the
judiciary, the judicial decision- making process, or the decisions
themselves are undermined. The same is true in relation to the
"[…] This building, the Rolls Building, and the Government's
investment in it, recognise the importance attached by this
Government to investment in our legal system. Other actions of
Government, perhaps, do not speak so loudly. And where they do not,
it is for us, the advocates, to speak out and to make our voices
Notes to editors
1. Further information is available from the Bar
Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525.
2. Michael Todd QC's full speech can be accessed here.
3. The World Bar Conference, which is organised bi-annually by
the International Council of Advocates and Barristers, will take
place from Friday 29 June until Sunday 1 July in various locations
around London, including the Rolls Building, the Supreme Court,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. For
more information, please click here.
4. The conference will be chaired by Stephen Hockman QC. The
full programme can be found here.
5. The Bar Council is involved in the Unlocking Disputes
campaign, which seeks to promote London as the world's leading
centre for dispute resolution. For more information, please visit
6. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales.
• The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
• Fair access to justice for all
• The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity
across the profession, and
• The development of business opportunities for barristers at
home and abroad.
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the
Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions
through the independent Bar Standards Board.