The victim’s voice takes centre stage at The Bar of Ireland Conference ‘Laws & Effects’

    Release date: 24/05/2019

    The Bar of Ireland’s Chairman’s Conference ‘Laws & Effect’ takes place in Co Laois tomorrow, Saturday May 25th.

    The Conference will focus on the experience of plaintiffs and victims in pursuit of access to justice through the legal system in Ireland with guest speakers Vicky Phelan, cervical cancer patient and campaigner, and Leona O’Callaghan, rape victim and founder of Survivor Support Anonymous, sharing their personal experiences with Conference delegates.

    The Conference will also hear from 10 barristers, including from four Bar Associations, delivering papers on a range of specialist areas including disclosure, the right to redress, privacy and damages, asylum law and professional regulation.

    Chairman of the Council of The Bar of Ireland Micheál P O’Higgins SC said, “Barristers represent clients in court every day, to the best of their ability, within the parameters of the law. Barristers perform their functions with independence and are duty bound to defend their clients’ best interests. Barristers are acutely aware of the need to consider the human impact of legal proceedings – for our clients, for plaintiffs, for victims and indeed for their families.

    We are delighted that Leona O’Callaghan and Vicky Phelan have accepted our invitation to join us at our Conference. They have been fearless advocates in the pursuit of justice and their campaigns have brought many important issues to light.

    “The Council of The Bar of Ireland plays an active role in upholding and improving our courts system by regularly participating in reviews of the operation of the justice system. This includes being open to reform and willing to listen to fresh perspectives.

    We are fortunate in Ireland to have such an effective and independent justice system that is so integral to a functioning democracy.

    Like all sections of society, we must always seek to evolve and improve, and our Conference is centred on shared learnings and perspectives – both from our barrister colleagues, and our distinguished guest speakers,” he said.