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Hungary hosts UIA Congress Budapest

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Hungary recently hosted the 60th annual conference of the UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats; International Association of Lawyers). Wolters Kluwer Kft., publisher of “Jogtár” (a Hungarian legal database) was also present at the event, and issued a summary in a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal Wednesday.

Since UIA is a multilingual organization and its working languages are English, French and Spanish, the lectures were held in these three languages at the conference in Budapest, which ran from October 28 to November 1, according to Wolters Kluwer.

At this year’s event attendees discussed issues of international interest, which always concerned cross-border legal relations. The attendees searched for answers to the challenges raised at the dawn of the 21st century along two main and several sub-themes in the Budapest Marriott Hotel and InterContinental Budapest. 

One of the main themes of the UIA Congress was entitled “Compliance management: Challenges and opportunities for the legal profession.”

According to compliance management, Wolters Kluwer explained, a company or an organization must comply, concerning both its external and internal activity, with social expectations, in addition to legal rules; the former affect mostly respect for moral rules. The so-called compliance officer establishes the internal procedures which help control the legal functioning of a company. In addition to control, the compliance officer is responsible for promoting the elimination of internal abuses through his advice. 

Corruption and money laundering-related challenges were raised as part of this main theme; concerning the latter, the fourth European anti-money laundering directive (Directive (EU) 2015/849) adopted last year was discussed, which must be transposed by the member states into their legal systems by June 2017; it also deals with tax crimes beyond money laundering, as well as combating the financing of terrorism.

The other main theme of the conference was the reinforcement of data protection regulations, Wolters Kluwer noted. Challenges concerning data theft originate in the explosive development of the digital world.

The background of the thematic discussion was the European Parliamentʼs adoption of new data protection rules this spring, under Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The new data protection regulation stipulates that, from 2018, data controlling and processor companies must comply with much stricter exigencies to ensure transparency and accountability. The regulation has to be applied directly in every member state from May 25, 2018.

According to discussions at the conference, the EU is also seeking to protect the digital world, as the aim of the regulation is to strengthen data protection in the digital world and to promote internet users’ ability to better protect their own data.

As in many times in the past, at the end of a conference lasting several days, the general meeting of UIA met in order to adopt a decision on a prominent theme. This year the issue concerned refugees, which became known as the Budapest Principles.

Jean-Jacques Uettwiller, outgoing president of the UIA, initiated the decision, the background of which is one of the greatest challenges of the past few years: mass migration. The former president emphasized at the general meeting in the Hungarian capital that lawyers all around the world have to contribute to the solution of refugee issues, mainly by studying thoroughly international and national refugee laws, including the rights of asylum seekers and the duties of the acting authorities.

The aim of the “Fundamental Principles on Refugees” drafted in Budapest is precisely to summarize the above-mentioned rights and obligations, but furthermore, it affects the responsibility of bar associations, principally in order to assist the successful activity of its members through adequate continuous training. 

During the congress, several hundred lawyers, jurists and judges from the widest range of countries visited the Wolters Kluwer stand, its press release said, where short discussions provided insight into the specifics of each country. However, the release added, it is a uniform experience that legal professionals are absolutely open to use technological innovations in their work. As Wolters noted, nowadays clients choose lawyers not only according to professional fame; it is also an important aspect how quickly and effectively individual needs are satisfied. To this end, the use of digital technology, such as “Jogtár,” is indispensable, it claimed.

Wolters Kluwer, present in 40 countries in the world, is 180 years old this year and has a leading position across Europe in legal and tax content services, the company stated. The company employs more than 19,000 persons worldwide.

written by Anna Kiss

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