IBA Criminal Law Section at the 2023 IBA Annual Conference, Paris

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Diana Czugler
Peters & Peters, London; Young Lawyers’ Committee Liaison Officer, IBA Criminal Law Committee

Alex Swan
Greenberg Traurig, London; Website Officer, IBA Business Crime Committee

The IBA’s Annual Conference took place between 29 October and 3 November 2023 in Paris, France. As always, the Conference – the IBA’s largest event with some 10,000 participants from the legal profession – was a great opportunity to catch up with acquaintances and forge new links within the criminal law community and beyond.

True to form, the IBA’s Criminal Law Section – consisting of the Anti-Corruption, Asset Recovery, Business Crime and Criminal Law Committees – turned out in force, culminating in over 150 criminal law practitioners attending a joint networking dinner on the Wednesday evening. Other conference events included a truly unforgettable private tour of the Louvre and a lunchtime cruise down the Seine. The Criminal Law and Business Crime Committees even found the time to combine their joint officers’ meeting with a sightseeing bus tour of the city!

Of course, professional seminars bridging numerous practice areas are also an integral part of the IBA Annual Conference experience. Members of the Criminal Law Section collaborated with other parts of the IBA, including the Human Rights Law, Professional Ethics, War Crimes and Arbitration Committees, as well as the Antitrust Section and the Judges’ Forum.

The fascinating topics included civil and criminal antitrust enforcement trends; the growing intersection between arbitration, compliance and criminal law; using regional mechanism to create comprehensive accountability solutions; the science of torture; and fair trials in war and product liability and related cases. A big congratulations to all Chairs, moderators and panellists for drawing in the crowds for each talk!

Last but certainly not least, no IBA Annual Conference would be complete without a mock trial being staged by the Criminal Law Section. In Paris, delegates had the opportunity to attend mock criminal and civil law proceedings which showcased in two parts the briber’s dilemma in parallel criminal, arbitral and civil asset recovery proceedings.

The mock trial considered in detail the liability of individuals, corporations and the state apparatus, including a huge number of issues and demonstrating attempts to find amicable solutions and recover the proceeds of crime. We had the real privilege of appearing in the Premier Chambre de la Cour d’Appel de Paris (the Premier Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris), in truly grand surroundings. Unfortunately, the panel of judges reserved its verdict until the 2024 Annual Conference in Mexico City!

Click here to register interest for the IBA Annual Conference 2024 in Mexico City on the 15-20 September.