IBA instruments

The IBA Council passes resolutions and other documents covering all aspects of law to assist and support the international legal community.

Here you can find a library of IBA Council Resolutions. Council Resolutions form the basis for the policies and actions of the IBA as a whole. Some resolutions may be presented solely to the Councils of the HRI, PPID, or LPD respectively for implementation and support within that Division of the IBA.

The IBA Council also approves various other IBA documents including practice rules and guidelines, and principles and standards for the legal profession, which can be found on the IBA guides, rules and other free materials page.

 

This Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations is intended to enable bar associations around the world to increase awareness and understanding of lawyers who advise business clients on the relevance of business and human rights, and particularly of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the ‘UNGPs’), and the various laws, policies, and standards that promote business respect for human rights.

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IBA Council Resolution on the IBA Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations and the IBA Draft Business and Human Rights Practical Guide for Business Lawyers.

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The IBA Resolution on Criminal Laws – Repeal of Criminal Laws that Impose Penalties Relating to Certain Sexual Conduct, was adopted by the IBA council on 24 May 2014. This Resolution calls upon the repeal of all criminal laws in respect of consensual, adult, private sexual conduct addressed to persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and further encourages IBA Members to take actions in this regard through the appropriate IBA entities.

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The IBA Anti-Corruption Resolution was adopted on 07 October 2010, by the IBA Council at the IBA Annual Conference in Vancouver, Canada.The Resolution commits to support the global fight against official corruption and believes that the members of the legal profession have a professional obligation to ensure integrity in transactions and advice. 

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The IBA Pro Bono Declaration was adopted in October 2008, by the IBA Council at the IBA Annual Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It considers that the delivery of pro bono service by the legal profession is of vital public and professional interest and that it helps to fulfil the unmet legal needs of the poor, underprivileged and marginalised and restore public confidence in the efficacy of governmental and judicial institutions. The Declaration calls on lawyers, law firms and bar associations to provide pro bono legal service, which is work by a lawyer of a quality equal to that afforded to paying clients, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, and principally to benefit poor, underprivileged or marginalised persons or communities or the organisations that assist them.

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The IBA Pro Bono Declaration was adopted in October 2008, by the IBA Council at the IBA Annual Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This Resolution supplements the primary Resolution adopted by the IBA Council in 1998. It emphasises that countries that so far have not been willing to open their legal services market to foreign lawyers, or that have done so to a limited extent only as regards the scope of practice rights or rights of association with local lawyers, may wish to grant foreign lawyers access to their legal services market, or to reduce or remove any existing restrictions on such access, subject to certain conditions. The Resolution also mentions the general principles of the GATS. 

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The IBA Resolution in Support of the ICC was adopted on 18 October 2007, by the IBA Council at the IBA Annual Conference in Singapore. This Resolution appeals to States to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1995, as well as recommending member organisations persuade their national governments to strengthen the rule of law and facilitate discussion on how to advance the goals of the International Criminal Court of holding those to account who have committed human rights atrocities.

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The IBA Rule of Law Resolution was adopted in September 2005, by the IBA Council at the IBA Annual Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Through this Resolution the IBA endorses the Rule of Law, calling upon all countries to respect its fundamental principles, including an independent, impartial judiciary, equality before the law and the right to a fair trial. 

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Or download the commentary here.

The IBA Resolution in Support of a System of Terminology for Legal Services for the Purposes of International Trade Negotiations was adopted in September 2003, at the IBA Council Meeting in San Francisco, United States of America. This Resolution recommends a system of terminology to be used in accordance with the qualified definitions for the purposes of trade in legal services by all members of the World Trade Organisation. 

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The IBA Resolution on Terrorism was adopted by the IBA Council in October 2001, at the IBA Business Law Conference in Cancun, Mexico. This Resolution calls upon the legal profession worldwide to adopt a leading role in response to the global threat of terrorism in the aftermath of the tragedy on 11 September, 2001 and to ensure that international peace and security is upheld by all. 

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The IBA Resolution on Professionalism v Commercialism was adopted by the IBA Council in September 2000. This Resolution resolves that lawyers provide independent, ethical, efficient and high quality professional services in accordance with the IBA Standards for Independence 1990 and the IBA General Principles of Ethics for Lawyers 1995. Lawyers, Bar Associations and other regulatory bodies must ensure professionalism is maintained, commercialism is avoided and appropriate action is taken when these ideals have not been satisfied. 

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The IBA Resolution on the Regulation of the Legal Profession was adopted at the IBA Council Meeting in 1998, in Vienna, Austria. This Resolution commits to preserve the full independence of the legal profession, indispensable in order to guarantee human rights, the rule of law, access to justice, and a democratic society throughout the world. 

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The IBA Resolution on Multi-Disciplinary Practices was adopted by the IBA Council in 1998. This Resolution supplements the IBA General Principles of Ethics for Lawyers 1995 in endorsing that regulators be made aware of the unique characteristics of the legal profession, necessitating its separate regulatory framework distinct from other professions. Regulators and authorities should consider the risks posed to clients and the public by multi-disciplinary practices, and any rules should take into account legal requirements such as confidentiality, client privilege and conflicting interests. 

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The IBA Resolution on Non-Discrimination in Legal Practice was adopted on 13 September 1998, by the IBA Council in Vancouver, Canada. This Resolution supports the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to equality and non-discrimination, advocating that legal practitioners be made aware of ethical and legal obligations relating to the practice of law. It urges members of the legal profession to treat all people with whom they come into professional conduct without discrimination or harassment, as well as to adopt an educative role on these issues. 

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The IBA Resolution on the Responsibility of the Courts was adopted on 14 June 1997, by the IBA Council in New York, United States of America. This Resolution endorses the responsibility of the Courts to provide a system that facilitates resolution of disputes between different types of parties, delivers just and economic access to justice, adheres to high ethical standards, offers the possibility of national and international arbitration, and encourages reforms to each jurisdiction’s court system. 

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The IBA Resolution on Deterring Bribery in International Business Transactions was adopted by the IBA Council in 1996. The Resolution commits to support the global fight to deter corrupt practices in international business and believes that members of the international community, national governments and non-governmental organisations must initiate dialogue to establish offences under domestic law, in accordance with internationally recognised principles. 

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The IBA Resolution on Legal Aid was adopted by the IBA Council in 1996. The Resolution reaffirms the IBA’s commitment to state funded legal aid programmes and promotes the principle that access to justice for all individuals is a human right. 

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The IBA Resolution on the Establishment of an African Court of Human Rights was adopted by the IBA Council in 1996. The Resolution establishes a regional Court of Human Rights in Africa vested with wide powers to protect victims and witnesses, helping to protect human rights where State courts have failed to do so. 

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The IBA Cross-Border Insolvency Concordat was adopted by the IBA Council in 1995. It is a framework for harmonising cross-border insolvency proceedings and some of the important conceptual issues arising. The Concordat is not intended to be a substitute for a treaty or statute, or a rigid set of rules, but rather to suggest generalised principles which participants and courts can adapt to fit particular circumstances and adopt as a practical approach towards developing solutions and dealing with the process of individual cross-border insolvencies. 

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The IBA Resolution on the Establishment of a Permanent International Criminal Court was adopted by the IBA Council in 1995. The Resolution supports the creation of an ICC, as an impartial and independent body associated with the UN, with jurisdiction over all crimes under international law, and duty to ensure due process and fair trial guarantees are upheld. 

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The IBA Resolution on the Abolition of the System of ‘Daiyo Kangoku’ or Substitute Prison for Pre-Indictment Detention in Japan was adopted by the IBA Council in 1995. The Resolution supports the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) efforts to abolish or at least modify the system of ‘daiyo kangoku’ in Japan, detention cells in police stations used as legal substitutes for detention centres or prisons. It also recommends consultation and reform plans by the JFBA, compliance by authorities with international legal instruments and ratification of The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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The IBA Resolution on Money Laundering was adopted by the IBA Council in 1995. The Resolution identifies money laundering as a major problem threatening the integrity of global financial systems. In recognition of this it promotes high common professional standards through a Code of Practice to be followed by lawyers worldwide, alongside urging member organisations, not all of which have anti-money laundering measures, to call upon their national governments to adopt the principle recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. 

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The IBA Resolution on Year of the Rule of Law was adopted at the IBA Council Meeting in Paris, France on 19 September 1995. The Resolution establishes that the year 1997 be entitled the ‘IBA Year of the Rule of Law’, running for a period of 12 months, to convince every Association Member and Individual Member of the importance of the rule of law and the need for worldwide strict observance.

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