About the IBA

Areas of the IBA

Grouped into two divisions – the Legal Practice Division and the Public and Professional Interest Division – the IBA covers all practice areas and professional interests, providing members with access to leading experts and up-to-date information.

Through the various committees of the divisions, the IBA enables an interchange of information and views among its members as to laws, practices and professional responsibilities relating to the practice of business law around the globe.

IBA History

Inspired by the vision of the United Nations (UN) and with the aim of supporting the establishment of law and administration of justice worldwide, representatives of 34 national bar associations gathered in New York on 17 February 1947 to create the IBA.

Bar Issues Commission

The IBA’s Bar Issues Commission provides an invaluable forum for IBA member organisations to discuss all matters relating to law at an international level. Representatives from Bar Associations sit on the IBA Council which is the governing body of the IBA.

IBA Human Rights Institute

The IBA Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) works across the Association to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.


Additionally, the IBA’s world-class conferences and high-quality publications provide unrivalled professional development and network-building opportunities for international legal practitioners and professional associates.

Other IBA institutions

Other institutions established by the IBA include the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the International Legal Assistance Consortium.