Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Watch out for social media, says Barbados Bar president

Attendees at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Barbados Bar Association Weekend Law Conference.

Attendees at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Barbados Bar Association Weekend Law Conference.

The legal fraternity can expect to encounter and must be prepared for new challenges emerging from the advancements in the use of social media.

This was the view expressed Friday morning by President of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA), Liesel Weekes, during the association’s inaugural conference entitled ‘Keep Up! Law and Innovation’.

The three-day conference hosted by the BBA focuses on issues of computer misuse, corporate governance, anti-money laundering legislation and the hot topic of legalising marijuana.

Addressing the packed audience of attorneys at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Weekes said the legal fraternity is hit with challenges as social media platforms advance.

“With every new innovation, for example, telecommunications and social media, comes an increased amount of progressive development which is unhealthy at best and destructive at worst and which raises new legal issues from cyber-bullying to cyber-espionage.”

Weekes noted what has emerged is a blurring of the line between truth and "alternative facts". She said such is an opportunity for attorneys to step up to the plate and further develop their professional skills.

“With each innovation, for those of us in the legal profession, it calls for us to boldly go where no one has gone, to create jurisprudence, guidelines, policies, frameworks and structures for professional practices to keep abreast of these developments and identify the legal issues which arise.”

Weekes said the conference will emphasise the need for the legal education system to keep up with the developments of the profession in order to avoid instances of professional misconduct. She added consideration will also be given to preparing attorneys to operate in extreme conditions such as technological meltdowns or a natural disaster.

The conference will run until June 4 and includes presentations on ‘Salacious Selfies to Defamatory Dissemination’ as well as ‘Technology and the Pace of Justice Delivery’.