On 2 and 3 October the Bar Council and the Law Society hosted the leaders of many overseas Bar associations and international lawyers organisations for the Opening of the Legal Year ceremonies.
International delegates from 67 organisations and 39 jurisdictions attended, demonstrating once more that England and Wales retains its place a leading international jurisdiction. This event is an important opportunity not just to project our leadership role but to discuss formally and informally topics of mutual concern and interest. The Bar Council devised a seminar on the burning issue of Freedom of expression v privacy rights, which compared the legal solutions in the UK with those of the US and Germany, chaired by Desmond Browne QC. The Chatham House format enabled a frank exchange of views.
On an informal level we were able to organise useful meetings with Bar leaders from Brazil and Hong Kong, as well as the President of the ABA, to discuss joint projects to benefit our respective memberships.