International Bar Association

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International Bar Association
International Bar Association logo.jpg
Logo of the International Bar Association
Motto The Global Voice of the Legal Profession
Formation February 1947
Type International professional association for the legal sector
Headquarters London, EC4
United Kingdom
  • London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Washington
Martin Šolc (2017-2018)
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 200 bar associations and law societies. 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.

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.[1][2]

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.[3] On 9 October 2012, the IBA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[4][5] 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.[6][7]

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 issues regular publications that focus on areas of interest in international legal practice.[8]

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.[9]

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 of IBAHRI is "to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law. The IBAHRI operates under the belief in the fundamental right of the world’s citizens to have disputes heard and determined by an independent judiciary, and for judges and lawyers to be able to practise freely and without interference. In order to advance human rights and the rule of law across the globe the IBAHRI undertakes a variety of projects to build capacity, lobby for change and highlight issues of international concern to the public, the media and the legal community".[10][11]

Codes and guidance on legal practice[edit]

The IBA plays an important role in issuing 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 commonly used by parties in international commercial arbitration.[12][13][14]

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).[15]

Task forces and action groups[edit]

  • Rule of Law Action Group[16]
  • Task Force on the Financial Crisis[17]
  • Task Force on International Terrorism[18]

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:[19]

Recent IBA presidents[edit]


  1. ^ "International Respect". Global Legal Post. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Changing Perceptions". Global Legal Post. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "IBA and OECD form stronger ties". Business Day Online. 18 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "IBA extends economic diplomatic collaboration". Global Legal Post. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Fight against Foreign Bribery: New Laws, New Challenges, New Trends". OECD. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "IBA and OECD help anti-graft fight". Commercial Dispute Resolution. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  8. ^ IBA Committees.
  9. ^ IBA Bar Issues Commission.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-04-12. .
  11. ^ "Sri Lanka allows International Bar Association delegation to visit country". Colombo Page. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Peter Ashford, Fox Williams LLP (January 2013). "The International Bar Association Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration". Cambridge University Press. 
  13. ^ "New IBA Rules on the taking of evidence in international arbitration". Arbflash. July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  14. ^ 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. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  15. ^ IBA guides, rules and other free materials.
  16. ^ IBA Rule of Law Action Group.
  17. ^ IBA Task Force on the Financial Crisis.
  18. ^ IBA Task Force on International Terrorism.
  19. ^ "IBA Announces 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award Winner As Dr. Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula". International Bar Association. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "A&O Celebrates Reynolds' IBA Presidency". Global Competition Review. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Magic circle partner takes IBA reins". Global Legal Post. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 

External links[edit]