These included ‘the dos and don’ts of advocacy in the highest courts’ in London, Canberra and Johannesburg; ‘practical lessons from the advocates of the past’; and ‘what the young Bar really needs’.

A discussion on ‘advocacy against the odds’ looked at challenges faced by lawyers in Pakistan and Zimbabwe, and was chaired by Sir Sydney Kentridge, the prominent South African lawyer who represented the family of anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko at the inquest following Biko’s death in 1977.  Lady Justice Hallett, the coroner at the inquest into the 7/7 London bombings, chaired a discussion on advocacy at public inquiries.

Giving the opening speech, Michael Todd QC, chairman of the Bar Council, hailed the independence of the judiciary, and asserted that “actions by government may have a very real effect on external perceptions of our justice system and of the independence of the judiciary”.

For more on the World Bar Conference, see Counsel’s September 2012 issue.