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Wednesday, 8 May 2013, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Regulation at home, but not abroad

Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC

In December 2012 Sir Geoffrey Nice finished four years as Vice Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the body that regulates barristers. After forty years in practice as a barrister, that included seven years working as an employed barrister in the UN, he will describe the differences between practice in a regulated legal community and practice in the UN system that operates with little effective regulation apart from what national systems impose on individual prosecution and defence lawyers. He will also review what he learnt as a regulator from looking critically at the Bar of England and Wales. The Bar of England and Wales and the country’s legal system as a whole proudly assert that they are the best in the world.  Are these claims justified?  If so, why was legislation thought to be necessary to regulate them more closely, and was that legislation wise? 

Can advantages that may exist in a national legal system – such as that of England and Wales – be introduced into international systems where lawyers from many countries and with different legal cultural backgrounds work together?

This is a part of Sir Geoffrey Nice's 2012/13 series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Law. The other lectures in this series are as follows:
    International Criminal Tribunals
    The end of Slobodan Milošević
    The ICC and Africa
    Legal Process as a Tool to Rewrite History
    State Involvement in War Crimes Trials

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Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has practised as a barrister since 1971.  He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – the ICTY – between 1998 and 2006 and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia. Much of his work since has been connected to cases before the permanent International Criminal Court – Sudan, Kenya, Libya – or  pro bono for victims groups – Iran, Burma, North Korea – whose cases cannot get to any international court.  He works for several related NGO’s and lectures and commentates in the media in various countries on international war crimes issues.  He has been a part-time judge since 1984 sitting at the Old Bailey and has sat as judge in other jurisdictions, tribunals and inquiries.  Between 2009 and 2012 he was Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the body that regulates barristers.

The six free public law lectures for 2013/14 Sir Geoffrey delivered as Gresham Professor of Law included four lectures on how legal process can fail the citizen in armed conflict, one explaining advocacy work in courts, and a final lecture covering recent legal changes.

The first five of his 2012-13 lectures dealt with issues arising from the work of international criminal courts and tribunals.  The sixth contrasted the practice of law in international criminal courts where there is little or no effective regulation of lawyers and judges with the present working practices of the English Bar.

Professor Nice's previous lecture series are as follows:

2015/16 Law and Lawyers - not all bad?
2014/15 From Human Rights to Srebrenica
2013/14 Law Lectures by Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC
2012/13 International Criminal Courts

All of Professor Nice's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

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8 May 2013

Regulation at home, but not abroad
Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC

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