About the Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession

In April 2010, the IBA, in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and  the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launched the Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession, a project which focuses on:
  • methods to manage the risks of corruption in order to meet the demands and requirements of clients;
  • the role lawyers play in combatting international corruption; and
  • how international instruments and extraterritorial legislation apply to the legal practice.

The role of lawyers: fighting or aiding corruption

The international regulatory framework is gradually reducing the avenues used to accommodate corruption. Because many lawyers still remain unaware of the implications that corruption can have on their profession, those wishing to further their corrupt practices are turning to unsuspecting legal professionals to act as agents or middlemen in their illicit transactions. Lawyers are at risk because of the appearance they provide of legitimacy.

Lawyers and law firms need to appreciate that they are no different than the parties they act for. This means that law firms and individuals must behave like any other business affected by the risks and threats brought about by corruption, and this includes understanding what sanctions may be imposed against them for deliberately or inadvertently engaging in corruption and corruption-related activities.

The role of third parties in corrupt activities is increasingly appearing on the radar of policy makers and enforcement agencies; therefore it is essential that lawyers are armed with the tools needed to identify, address and resolve potential threats. It is clear that without the cooperation of lawyers, the battle against international corruption will be a very difficult one. 

Project Strategy

The project focuses on the following main areas of action:

Activities to Date:

October 2010: The Report on the Risks and Threats of Corruption and the Legal Profession launched at the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver.

2010: pilot in-country workshops began in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

2011: workshops held in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Venezuela.

2012: workshops held in  Europe, Africa and Oceania.

2013: workshops held in Spain, Africa and Southeast Asia.

2014: workshops held in Dubai, Uganda, Rwanda, Bolivia and Paraguay. 

2015: planned workshops in Latvia for the Baltic countries and in Zambia, with more locations to follow. 

Please visit the Workshops section of this website for detailed information on past and upcoming workshops.


For more information on the Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession, please e-mail the IBA's Legal Projects Team.