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Opening of the Legal Year 2017

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The Opening of the Legal year 2017 saw its usual sequence of events in the Red Mass followed by the ceremonial opening at the Supreme Court of Gibraltar followed by the Bar Council lunch at the Sunborn, Gibraltar. Attendance at the events of this year’s opening of the Gibraltar Legal Year included a spread of practising and retired local practitioners and judiciary, Gibraltar’s Justices of Appeal and the most distinguished guest of Lord Mance of the United Kingdom Supreme Court and Gibraltar’s Privy Council.

The ceremonial opening of the legal year included speeches coming from the judiciary, Attorney General and the Chairman of the Bar Council, Mr Keith Azopardi. The Chairman’s speech was the last speech to be delivered by a chairperson of the Bar Council as upcoming regulatory changes will cause the Bar Council to be renamed the Law Council. The Chairman’s speech turned to a review of his three years as chair and how such a period has aligned with the objectives marked at the commencement of his post.

The effective review acknowledged the cumulative steps that were built upon from the work of the previous chair and council members in the council achieving its present objectives. Developments in the past three years included launching the Bar Council website, quarterly eletronic newsletter for members and a fairly conservative social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

More considerably, the council has made substantive progress towards the comprehensive overhaul of the regulation of legal services. This has recently culminated by Parliament taking the Legal Services Bill with what will become the Legal Services Act – a matter of legislation that has been in progress for a substantial amount of time. The proposed regulations, among other items, will establish a regulatory authority for the legal profession, introduce categories of legal practitioner, code of conduct and the Bar Council will be renamed the Law Council.

Mr Azopardi then turned to the issue of the changing landscape of litigation in Gibraltar, the non-renewal of a fourth judicial post, and a change to thresholds and eligibility criteria for applicants for legal assistance which will increase the pool of eligible applicants.


The Chairman’s speech may be read here.

Gibraltar Bar Council

Council quarterly, issue 4: summer 2017

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The Council is pleased to release its fourth edition of the Council Quarterly newsletter, updating members of the profession and the public as to current events pertinent to the legal profession. This edition may be accessed here.

This fourth edition marks the end of a first successful year since the Council announced and launched the newsletter initiative. This summer edition includes a review and update on the Bar Council’s AGM; progress with draft regulation in respect of the legal profession and the jurisdiction’s first code of conduct; an amendment to the Legal Assistance Act; a review of recent Fintech and Sports Law conferences; Distributed Ledger Technology regulatory analysis; updates as to the most recent Court of Appeal session; and the availability of Court Circulars on the Gibraltar Courts Service Website.

Please view this fourth edition of the Council Quarterly here.

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Council quarterly, issue 2: winter 2016

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The Council is pleased to release the second issue of the Council Quarterly newsletter. This winter’s newsletter features discussion on a number of topics inclusive of the opening of the Legal Year, the 2016 QC competition, discussion of the developments of the Legal Services Bill, innovation in Gibraltar, Case Reports and more.

Please click here for the Council Quarterly Issue 2 – Winter 2016 .

The first inaugural issue may be accessed here.

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Opening of the Legal Year 2016

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Chairman of the Bar Keith Azopardi QC made clear that the Council’s aspirations to see a comprehensive new law on the regulation of legal services remains on track and has dominated the work of the Council over the last 12 months. The Council hopes that a Bill could be presented to Parliament in early 2017. Mr Azopardi also indicated that work on a draft Code of Conduct is very advanced and that this is expected to go to consultation in coming months.

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Legal services bill consultation

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The Bar Council was delighted to welcome the launch of the formal consultation into the Legal Services Bill this Summer. The consultation process concluded on 21 September 2016. The Council will now be considering the various representations made in conjunction with the Government and Judiciary and will be working on the next phase of this important review of regulatory legislation.

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Opening of the legal year

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The Opening of the Legal Year 2016 is scheduled for 14 October 2016. As is usual there will be speeches from the Judiciary, Attorney General and the Bar. The Chairman’s speech at the OLY will be uploaded after the event.

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Council quarterly launched

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The Council has launched a Quarterly electronic newsletter which will serve as a way of updating members on events of relevance to persons providing legal services in Gibraltar. The first Issue is available here and archive issues here.

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Council elections 2016

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At the AGM held in April 2016 the Chairman was re-elected and a number of new members joined the Council. Guy Stagnetto stood down after 22 years’ service on the Council and was thanked for his long-standing contribution. David Dumas was re-elected Vice Chairman and Ken Navas Treasurer. The current composition of the Council is here.

Enhancing Justice, Regulation and the Quality of Legal Services