Bar Guidance and Forum

 

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The International Bar Association (IBA) has launched a range of practical and substantive recommendations to assist bar associations in developing their anti-corruption policies. The 13-page document entitled IBA Anti-Corruption Guidance for Bar Associations: Creating, Developing and Promoting Anti-Corruption Initiatives for the Legal Profession (Anti-Corruption Guidance) was drafted by the IBA’s Legal Projects Team in conjunction with an expert consultation group comprised of members of the IBA Bar Issues Commission, and the IBA Anti-Corruption Committee.

 

Michael Reynolds, President of the International Bar Association commented, ‘Anti-corruption compliance poses a real challenge for lawyers. The new Anti-Corruption Guidance is an important tool that can be used by bar associations to educate lawyers and bring about reform.’ He added, ‘While recognising that each association has unique needs, capacity and resources, associations are perfectly placed to galvanise support for anti-corruption measures among their respective memberships and jurisdictions. It is our hope that implementation of the Guidance will be widespread across continents.’

 

The Anti-Corruption Guidance presents a new and important stage in the Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession – a joint initiative of the IBA, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – and sets out seven key modes through which bar associations can support anti-corruption initiatives in their jurisdictions:

  • Constructing an effective plan for implementation of an anti-corruption strategy;
  • Providing information resources;
  • Educating the legal profession;
  • Adoption or adjustment of ethical codes or disciplinary policies;
  • Capacity building and technical assistance for members of the legal profession;
  • Recognition and incentives for proactive individuals and organisations; and
  • Representing the legal profession in national and international anti-corruption forums.

 

The IBA Council – the governing body of the International Bar Association – approved the Anti-Corruption Guidance on Saturday 25 May 2013 during meetings in Zurich, Switzerland.

 

James Klotz, IBA Management Board member, and consulted on the Anti-Corruption Guidance, stated, ‘IBA Council approval of the Anti-Corruption Guidance marks an important stage in the international legal community’s condemnation of, and fight against, corruption, with lawyers being key players in the global battle.’ He added, ‘Inspired by the ethos of the Guidance, the Canadian Bar Association has created the Canadian Bar Association Anti-Corruption Team,a policy unit designed to focus and develop the Canadian legal profession’s anti-corruption efforts. I hope that similar initiatives will develop around the world.’

 

A special forum for bar associations to help in sharing experiences and best practices will be available soon.