Dean reflects on “great success” of WBC

18 Apr


The World Bar Conference has left Edinburgh, on its way to South Africa in 2018, and the Dean of Faculty, James Wolffe, QC, has looked back on a memorable and successful event.

“I am immensely proud that the World Bar Conference 2016, hosted by the Faculty of Advocates, has been such a success,” he said.

“Everyone who attended the Conference will have his or her own highlights. Following the Lord President’s opening address, we were inspired by the courage of colleagues from Zimbabwe, who stand up for the rule of law in challenging circumstances. We heard the Independent Reviewers of Terrorism Legislation in the UK and Australia in conversation about their work.  We were challenged by Professor Richard Susskind and by young barristers from South Africa and England & Wales to think about the impact of technological change on the courts and the profession.

“Justice Frank Clarke of the Supreme Court of Ireland reminded us that, in our legal systems, the courts depend crucially on the work of independent advocates to assist them in the articulation and development of the law; and Professor George Yarrow of Oxford University explained the contribution of the law and the legal profession in underpinning a well-functioning market economy.

“We were privileged that the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament permitted us to hold our closing session in the debating chamber. During that session, we heard how different bars have sought to promote diversity and social mobility, and distinguished speakers, including Sir Christopher Greenwood, a judge of the International Court of Justice, discussed the relationship between international law and national law, before the President of the UK Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, gave the closing address.

“But it is not just the formal content of a conference such as this which matters. The Conference provided us with an opportunity to meet and make friends with colleagues from around the world, advocates and barristers who share our fundamental professional commitments. I am glad that we were able to give our guests from four continents the best of Scottish hospitality. 

“I would like to express my gratitude to the conference organising committee, led by Anna Poole, QC, and to the Faculty’s staff, who put in so much hard work over many months to make this Conference a great success.”

The Conference website is at