Seoul be­comes net­work­ing hub for IBA mem­bers

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Lee Suh-yoon [email protected]­re­

The In­ter­na­tional Bar As­so­ci­a­tion (IBA) Con­fer­ence, the largest an­nual gath­er­ing of lawyers, is tak­ing place in the Korean cap­i­tal this week.

The con­fer­ence opened Sun­day evening with a spe­cial video mes­sage from Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in and a wel­com­ing speech from Seoul Mayor Park Won­soon. Both Moon and Park are for­mer hu­man rights lawyers.

Since then, the COEX con­ven­tion cen­ter in south­ern Seoul has turned into a lively net­work­ing hub for around 5,000 le­gal pro­fes­sion­als from around the world.

This is the first time for the coun­try to host the pres­ti­gious con­fer­ence, which started as a bi­en­nale event in 1947.

With over 200 ses­sions, the con­fer­ence pro­vides par­tic­i­pants with am­ple op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore ris­ing is­sues and ar­eas of in­ter­est in the le­gal field, as well as con­nect with the rel­e­vant play­ers. De­bates range from le­gal busi­ness mod­els in the gig econ­omy to ad­dress­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment by work­place su­pe­ri­ors in the age of #Me­Too.

“Thanks to the pres­ence of top ex­perts from each field, the ses­sions are gen­er­at­ing a lot of good dis­cus­sions, rather than one-way pre­sen­ta­tions or lec­tures,” Seo Sang-yoon, a lawyer and vice pres­i­dent of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs at the Korean Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, said.

On the side­lines, meet­ings are tak­ing place be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives of na­tional bar as­so­ci­a­tions to dis­cuss com­mon prob­lems and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions, such as the sat­u­rated job mar­ket and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing pub­lic im­age of lawyers, Seo added.

Some ses­sions han­dled North Korea is­sues. Wed­nes­day’s ses­sions in­cluded one on the re­stric­tions of con­duct­ing busi­ness in North Korea.

Lee Hyeon-seo, a North Korean de­fec­tor and the au­thor of “The Girl with Seven Names — A North Korean De­fec­tor’s Story,” and In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court’s Assem­bly of States Par­ties Pres­i­dent Kwon O-gon were brought in for spe­cial lunchtime ses­sions.

A high­light from the re­main­ing events is the Rule of Law Sym­po­sium on Fri­day. The sym­po­sium will deal with the per­se­cu­tion of lawyers and judges in coun­tries like the Philip­pines, Thai­land and Myan­mar.

Cour­tesy of Korean Bar As­so­ci­a­tion

Guests of the In­ter­na­tional Bar As­so­ci­a­tion’s Seoul con­fer­ence watch a per­for­mance at Korean Night, hosted by the Korean Bar As­so­ci­a­tion at Sono Felice con­ven­tion cen­ter in south­ern Seoul, Tues­day.

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