International Bar Association

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International Bar Association
FormationFebruary 17, 1947
TypeInternational professional association for the legal sector
United Kingdom
  • London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Washington
Sternford Moyo (2021-2022)
Key people
Mark Ellis, Executive Director

The International Bar Association (IBA), founded in 1947, is a bar association of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA currently has a membership of more than 80,000 individual lawyers and 190 bar associations and law societies.[1] Its global headquarters are located in London, England, and it has regional offices in Washington, D.C., United States, Seoul, South Korea and São Paulo, Brazil.[2]

History of the IBA[edit]

Representatives of 34 national bar associations gathered in New York City, New York on 17 February 1947 to create the IBA. Initial membership was limited to bar associations and law societies, but in 1970, IBA membership was opened to individual lawyers. Members of the legal profession including barristers, advocates, solicitors, members of the judiciary, in-house lawyers, government lawyers, academics and law students comprise the membership of the IBA.[3][4]

Relationships with other international organisations[edit]

The IBA has held Special Consultative status before the UN General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 1947.[5] On 9 October 2012, the IBA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[6][7] The IBA also partners with the OECD and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession, an anti-corruption initiative for lawyers.[8][9] The IBA has also partnered with other organisations including the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)[10] and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE).[11]

Structure of the IBA[edit]

The IBA is divided into two divisions – the Legal Practice Division (LPD) and the Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID). Each Division houses various committees and fora that are dedicated to specific practice areas. These committees and fora issue regular publications that focus on international legal practice.[12]

The PPID houses the Bar Issues Commission (BIC) and Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI). The BIC was established in 2004 and consists of representatives from bar associations and law societies around the world.[13] IBAHRI was established in 1995 under the honorary presidency of Nelson Mandela.[14]

The current Executive Director of the IBA is Mark Ellis.

Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)[edit]

The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) was established in 1995 under the honorary presidency of Nelson Mandela. The mission statement of the IBAHRI is "to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law". IBAHRI undertakes a variety of projects in the field of human rights and rule of law, particularly concerning the independence of the judiciary and fair trial rights.[15][16]

Codes and guidance on legal practice[edit]

The IBA issues codes and guidance on international legal practice. The IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration, adopted in 1999 and revised in 2010, are used by parties in international commercial arbitration.[17][18][19]

The IBA has also issued: IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration, IBA Guidelines for Drafting International Arbitration Clauses, and IBA Principles on Conduct for the Legal Profession (2011).[20]

Task forces and action groups[edit]

  • Rule of Law Action Group[21]
  • Task Force on the Financial Crisis[22]
  • Task Force on International Terrorism[23]

IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award[edit]

The IBA has an award that is given to an outstanding female lawyer judged to be most deserving of that recognition. It is awarded every other year and is sponsored by LexisNexis. It includes a US$5,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Past recipients of the award include the following:[24]

Recent IBA presidents[edit]


  1. ^ "IBA - About the IBA". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  2. ^ "IBA - Contact us". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  3. ^ "International Respect". Global Legal Post. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Changing Perceptions". Global Legal Post. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  5. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 18 September 2008" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  6. ^ "IBA and OECD form stronger ties". Business Day Online. 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  7. ^ "IBA extends economic diplomatic collaboration". Global Legal Post. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  8. ^ "The Fight against Foreign Bribery: New Laws, New Challenges, New Trends". OECD. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  9. ^ "IBA and OECD help anti-graft fight". Commercial Dispute Resolution. 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  10. ^ "News Details - IFAC and IBA sign anti-corruption mandate". Archived from the original on 2020-04-12. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  11. ^ "New IBA GEI and IOE report aims to provide business with enhanced guidance on ILO International Labour Standards". IOE - International Organisation of Employers. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  12. ^ IBA Committees Archived 2019-02-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ IBA Bar Issues Commission Archived 2016-11-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "About the IBAHRI". Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  15. ^ "International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) - Africa Governance Institute". Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-04-12..
  16. ^ "Sri Lanka allows International Bar Association delegation to visit country". Colombo Page. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  17. ^ Peter Ashford, Fox Williams LLP (January 2013). "The International Bar Association Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration". Cambridge University Press.
  18. ^ "New IBA Rules on the taking of evidence in international arbitration". Arbflash. July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  19. ^ Max Shterngel (Summer 2010). "The Revised IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration: Focus on Document Production and Privilege". International Disputes Quarterly. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  20. ^ IBA guides, rules and other free materials.
  21. ^ IBA Rule of Law Action Group Archived 2014-08-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ IBA Task Force on the Financial Crisis Archived 2016-11-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ IBA Task Force on International Terrorism Archived 2016-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "IBA - IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  25. ^ "Carol Xueref : femme juriste d'exception". (in French). 5 April 2016. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  26. ^ "Professor wins International Bar Association Award". 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  27. ^ February 2015, Michael Cross2. "Profile: David W Rivkin". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  28. ^ "A&O Celebrates Reynolds' IBA Presidency". Global Competition Review. 19 October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Magic circle partner takes IBA reins". Global Legal Post. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.

External links[edit]