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World Bar
Conference 2024

Independent Referral Bars:
Responding to Global Challenges

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

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Organised by
Kindly sponsored 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 Rt. Hon. Victoria Prentis KC MP

The Rt. Hon. Victoria Prentis KC MP

Attorney General for England & Wales

Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin KC Hon

Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin KC Hon

Professor of Law, School of Law, Queens University Belfast

Yurii Bielousov

Yurii Bielousov

Head of Department for Combatting Crimes Committed in Conditions of Armed Conflict, Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine

The Rt. Hon. Dame Siobhan Keegan

The Rt. Hon. Dame Siobhan Keegan

Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland

The Hon. Justice Mark Livesey

The Hon. Justice Mark Livesey

President of the Court of Appeal of South Australia

Emma Wright

Emma Wright

Technology and Data Lawyer, Partner at Harbottle & Lewis


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 accomodation rates are available on registration.

BELFAST (15 - 16 MAY 2024)

Merchant Hotel 

Fitzwilliam Hotel 


Titanic Hotel

AC Hotel 

Bullitt Hotel

Premier Inn Titanic Quarter 

Dream Apartments 

DUBLIN (16 - 17 MAY 2024)

Shelbourne Hotel

Morrison Hotel 


Hard Rock Hotel

Hyatt Centric

Jury's Hotel Christchurch

Hendrick Dublin

Staycity Aparthotels

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.

Charity Partners





Registration is now open.

  A limited number of tickets are available on a first come, first served basis.


For conference queries, please contact

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