Law Council of Australia


World’s largest legal gathering begins in Sydney next week: International Bar Association Conference

6 October 2017

More than 4,000 lawyers from around the world will descend on Sydney for the International Bar Association Annual (IBA) Conference (8-13 October) at the Sydney International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.

Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said the IBA Conference – with representatives from around 110 jurisdictions – was the world's largest international gathering of the legal profession.

“Australia will be centre of the legal world for the duration of the IBA Conference,” Ms McLeod said.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for Australian lawyers to engage with the best and brightest legal minds from across the globe, right on our own doorstep.”

Representatives include international law firms, multi-national corporations, governments and regulators. They will attend 200 substantive legal sessions, workshops and panels.

The Australian legal profession will feature prominently in substantive sessions on every day of the conference.

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC and Attorney-General Senator George Brandis QC will address the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, 8 October.

Ms McLeod will also present on a range of priority issues for Australian lawyers including:

The Law Council’s President-elect, Morry Bailes, will speak on Why – and how – to enhance the ratio of female talent in law firms on Monday, 9 October at 9.30am.

The Law Council will also be hosting a networking event for delegates on Thursday evening.

Australian lawyers can attend a single day of the conference at the discounted Daily Delegate Rate of GBP350 (approximately $590).

Any Australian based delegate can access the Daily Delegate Rate by attending the Conference registration desk on the morning of the day they wish to attend.

Media who have yet to register can access a registration form and other details here.

The full IBA program can be accessed here. IBA showcase sessions are listed below.


Media contacts:

Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs

P. 02 6246 3715     E.

Anil Lambert: Media

P. 0416 426 722     E. 


IBA Showcase Sessions

Monday (9th October): Women 'firsts' - how does international and domestic law help (or hinder) women to succeed in Australia and elsewhere? Moderating the session will be Baroness Helena Kennedy QC House of Lords, London, England.

Tuesday (10th October): Cybercrime and the media - explores unexpected risks to clients, law firms and governments.

Wednesday (11th October): Keynote on data, disruptive innovation and the new digital world - this session will feature Australian leaders in the digital economy, new technology and disruptive change. They will guide the audience through some of the major changes and effects to be expected in life and work in the years ahead.

Wednesday (11th October): The balance between migration, international security, rule of law and terrorism - focuses on what bar associations can do to facilitate this conversation.

Thursday (12th October): Given the rise of populist political movements across the world, what is the impact for global legal services and business lawyers? - With the key ingredients conducive to international trade under attack as political populism sweeps through the US and Europe, this Showcase will explore a number of related issues.

Friday (13th October): The anti-corruption revolution in Latin America will be followed by the politics of judicial appointments with Geoffrey Robertson QC Doughty Street Chambers, London, England providing the keynote address.

In addition, a series of 'A conversation with...' events will be held during the conference: Monday's guest will be Dr Robert Gates (via live video-link) - the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense (2006 to 2011); Tuesday's guest is to be The Hon John Howard OM AC - former Prime Minister of Australia; and Wednesday's guest will be Julian Assange (via live video-link) - founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and freedom of expression activist.

Among the plethora of topics covered at the conference include: disruptive innovation; data; artificial intelligence; technology; LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex); migration; international security; the rule of law and terrorism; climate change; anti-corruption; international transactions; mergers and acquisitions; and many more.

The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world's leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies.


IBA Media Contact (including to arrange interviews with speakers):

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
Press Office | International Bar Association | London

Mobile (UK): +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line (UK): +44 (0)20 7842 0094



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