• "The Common Law in an Uncommon World"

  • The interface between the Common Law
    and other legal systems
    in an increasingly interconnected world

The Common Law in an Uncommon World

The increasingly interconnected world intensifies the interaction between the Common law and other legal systems and brings challenges to the world of litigation. The World Bar Conference provides an exemplary opportunity to review and explore the development and challenges in the world of litigation for the members of jurisdictions with independent referral bars.

The World Bar Conference brings together international prominent speakers and delegates to exchange ideas on and discuss the recent trends and challenges in the world of litigation from the perspective of the International Courts, International Arbitration, Commissions of Inquiry and in the field of children cases and human rights cases.

About ICAB

The International Council of Advocates and Barristers (ICAB) is the forum for members of independent referral bars around the world.

A referral bar is a group of barristers or advocates practising in a particular jurisdiction. They take pride in their independence and their expertise is sought because they specialise in the oral presentation of cases and in related advice and drafting work. They generally acknowledge themselves to be bound by the ‘cab-rank rule’ under which they are precluded from refusing instructions on the ground that the nature of the case, or the conduct, opinions or beliefs of a prospective client, are publicly controversial or unacceptable to the advocate.

Objectives of ICAB include:
  • To promote and maintain the rule of law
  • To promote the effective administration of justice
  • To encourage the continued existence and growth of an independent Bar in the jurisdictions of the Council’s members and elsewhere
  • To promote, maintain and improve the interests and standards of advocates and barristers
  • To enable advocates and barristers to communicate their views on matters affecting them
  • To arrange and promote continuing legal education

The first World Bar Conference was held in Edinburgh in 2002 with 7 conferences being held since then.

The 2020 World Bar Conference will be held in Hong Kong.

About 2020 Organizer – HKBA

The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA)

The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) hosts the World Bar Conference 2020 which will take place on 8th to 9th April 2020 in Hong Kong.

Founded in 1949, the HKBA is the professional organization of barristers in Hong Kong designated by law. In Hong Kong, there are two branches of lawyers: Barristers and Solicitors. Although it is difficult to define the profession of barristers, it has the following key characteristics:

  • it is a profession of specialized advocates and legal advisors;
  • it is a referral profession;
  • it is an independent profession, barristers are not allowed to enter into partnership
  • it is a profession that adheres to the “cab-rank rule”

The principal officers of the Association, namely, the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Honorary Secretary are all elected at its annual general meeting. The Bar Association is governed by an executive committee known as the Bar Council which consists of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Honorary Secretary, 11 elected members and, at most, 9 co-opted members representing different standings at the Bar. All matters of policy are decided by the Bar Council and Committees on Practice Areas / Standing Committees are appointed from time to time to consider important matters such as professional discipline, future developments of the profession and law reforms. So far there are 36 such committees.

As of December 2019, the Hong Kong Bar Association has over 1,600 practicing members, around 100 of whom are Senior Counsel (previously called “Queen’s Counsel” before 1997). “Senior Counsel” is a lifetime appointment by the Chief Judge of the Court of Final Appeal to barristers with at least 10 years of practicing experience. It is the recognition of ability, competence in advocacy and standing in the legal profession. All barristers have unlimited right to appear before all courts in Hong Kong of both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Hong Kong Bar Association
LG2, High Court, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Website: www.hkba.org
Tel.(852) 28690210 / Fax. (852) 28690189
Email: Info@hkba.org

Conference Contact

All enquiries relating to the Conference sessions, online registrations, sponsorship should be directed to World Bar Conference Organising Committee at email: wbc2020@hkba.org

Supporting Organizations


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