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World Bar
Conference 2024

Independent Referral Bars:
Responding to Global Challenges

#WBC24 took place from 15-17 May in Belfast and Dublin, bringing advocates and barristers together for three days of debate and discussion.

We would like to sincerely thank all delegates, speakers and contributors for making the 2024 conference such a memorable event. The venue and timing of the next World Bar Conference will be communicated once the Programme Committee has reviewed all feedback.

View Programme

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Organised by

Welcome Message from the Hosts

Moira Smyth KC

Moira Smyth KC

Chair of the Bar of Northern Ireland

Sara Phelan SC

Sara Phelan SC

Chair, Council of The Bar of Ireland

Our rules-based legal order – both at the national and international levels – continues to face disruption from a variety of factors including; advances in technology, geo-political instability and environmental issues, to name just a few.


The question arises: what value do barristers and advocates bring in the face of such challenges? And can our shared legal and ethical compass guide us through these periods of change?


We invite you to the World Bar Conference 2024, where the response to key global challenges will be considered by the collective insights and experiences of recognised experts in discussion with the independent referral Bars from across the globe.


Our goal is to build a community of lawyers finding renewed purpose in response to these core debates.


Conference Topics


Navigating the Crossroads: Cancel Culture, Free Speech, and the Right to Offend


Rule of Law Under Fire: Existing in an Age of Conflict


AI Unleashed: Tomorrow's Legal Landscape and the New Normal?


Law in the Era of Climate Crisis: Unearthing the Legal Challenges


Humanity on the Move: Legal Frontiers in Migration and Human Rights


An Independent Bar and an Independent Judiciary: Perspectives from Chief Justices in ICAB Jurisdictions


Keynote Speakers

The Hon. Ms. Justice Elizabeth Dunne

The Hon. Ms. Justice Elizabeth Dunne

Supreme Court of Ireland

Yurii Bielousov

Yurii Bielousov

Head of the War Crimes Department at the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine

The Hon. Dame Susan Glazebrook

The Hon. Dame Susan Glazebrook

Supreme Court of New Zealand / Te Kōti Mana Nui

The Rt. Hon. Victoria Prentis KC MP

The Rt. Hon. Victoria Prentis KC MP

Attorney General for England & Wales

The Honourable Raymond Zondo

The Honourable Raymond Zondo

Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa

The Rt. Hon. Lord Carloway

The Rt. Hon. Lord Carloway

Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland


Conference Schedule

Evening Welcome Reception
The Bar of Northern Ireland, Belfast city centre

Conference (9.15am to 4.30pm)
Titanic Hotel, Belfast

Transport will be provided from Belfast to Dublin.

Traditional Irish Night & Drinks Reception (8pm) 
The Sheds, Distillery Building, Dublin city centre

FRI 17 MAY 2024 | DUBLIN
Conference (9.15am to 4.30pm)
 Dublin Castle, Dublin city centre

Gala Dinner (7pm)
Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin city centre

CPD Points: 10

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Accommodation & Travel

We have organised bus transfers from Belfast to Dublin on Thursday 16 May.

For international guests, please note that there are international airports in Belfast and Dublin.

Discounted accommodation rates are available on registration.

➜ View our FAQ

Map of island of Ireland, showing locations of Belfast, Dublin and airports
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During your visit to Ireland


Image by K. Mitch Hodge

Explore Belfast

Image by Jack Bulmer

Ireland's Ancient East

Image by Andrea Leopardi

Explore Dublin

Family Hiking

Northern Ireland

About ICAB

The International Council of Advocates and Barristers (ICAB) is the forum for members of independent referral bars around the world. The maintenance of an independent referral Bar represents one of the cornerstones of any functioning democracy and legal system. Our members have a unique specialism and expertise in legal advocacy and work, without fear or favour, to champion the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Every two years, the International Council of Advocates and Barristers organises an international legal conference in different cities worldwide. This, the World Bar Conference (WBC), is the only event which brings together members of the independent referral Bar from around the world for three days of debate and discussion on issues and topics of relevance.

Current ICAB office holders
  • Ronaldo Renucci, Vice Dean of Faculty of Advocates
  • Sara Phelan SC, Chair, Council of The Bar of Ireland
  • Moira Smyth KC, Chair, The Bar of Northern Ireland


Members of ICAB

Charity Partners





Registration is now closed.

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