Key Milestones


1934: 43 national bar associations/law societies established
1945: Tentative Draft Constitution for an International Bar Association
1946: Draft Constitution forwarded to the head of the national capital city bar association of each country in the world in which one was known to exist. Meeting (led by the ABA) held in New York on 8 and 9 October 1946 to discuss formal terms of the Constitution. Associations to become effective upon five eligible national associations filing acceptances of the constitution.

'The primary purpose of the Association [is] to back the establishment of law and the administration of justice by law throughout the world; to promote the principles and aims of the United Nations'
1947: First meeting of the Committee for the organisation of the International Bar Association.

Inaugural meeting of the IBA held at the House of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on 17 and 18 February 1947. Adoption of Constitution of the IBA and inauguration of the House of Deputies, President, Vice Presidents and Executive Council.

First meeting of the Executive Council under the new Constitution held on 6 March 1947.

Council establishes headquarters in New York.

First international conference - New York (19 – 22 October 1947)

First elected Chairman – Mr George Maurice Morris (US)
1948: 2nd IBA Biennial Conference (The Hague)
1950: 3rd IBA Biennial Conference (London)
1952: 4th IBA Biennial Conference (Madrid)
1954: 5th IBA Biennial Conference (Monaco)
1956: 6th IBA Biennial Conference (Oslo)
1958: 7th IBA Biennial Conference (Cologne)
1960: 8th IBA Biennial Conference (Salzburg)
1961: 43 member organisations – contributing $8,800
949 patrons/subscribers – contributing $20,700
1962: 9th IBA Biennial Conference (Edinburgh)
1964: 10th IBA Biennial Conference (Mexico City)
1966: 11th IBA Biennial Conference (Lausanne)
Section members - 1493
1968: 12th IBA Biennial Conference (Dublin)
Idea of ‘Sections’ was born – ‘to give to the organisation greater appeal to more lawyers, to provide opportunities for more lawyer participation and to produce better programs’
1969: Gradual move of IBA's administrative centre from New York to London. 
1970: Agreement to establish 'Section' on Business Law (SBL) within the IBA.
13th IBA Biennial Conference (Tokyo)
1971: 20 committees established within SBL. 
1972: 25th Anniversary of the IBA.
14th IBA Biennial Conference (Monaco) 
1973: 1st SBL Biennial Conference (London)
Biennial Conference – November (London)
Inauguration of section journal – the ‘International Business Lawyer’
1974: Section on General Practice established.
15th IBA Biennial Conference (Vancouver)
Patron/subscriber membership – 3030 (of which 1600 SBL members, increased from 652)
1975: 2nd SBL Biennial Conference - October (Paris)
1976: 16th IBA Biennial Conference (Stockholm)
1977: 3rd SBL Biennial Conference - November (Atlanta) 
1978: 17th IBA Biennial Conference (Sydney)
1979: 4th SBL Biennial Conference - September (Zurich)
1980: 18th IBA Biennial Conference (Berlin)
1981: 5th SBL Biennial Conference - October (Budapest)
1st SGP (Section on General Practice) Biennial Conference (Lisbon)
1982: 19th IBA Biennial Conference (New Delhi)
5100 Section members
Income from individual members - £277,600
Income from member organisations - £11,783
1983: 6th SBL Biennial Conference - October (Toronto)
Section of Energy and Natural Resources Law established
2nd SGP Biennial Conference (Rome)
Total patrons/subscribers - 7,200:
SBL membership - 5,153
SGP membership - 1,582
1984: 20th IBA Biennial Conference (Vienna)
1985: 7th SBL Biennial Conference (Singapore)
3rd SGP Biennial Conference (Madrid)
1986: 21st IBA Biennial Conference (New York)
1987:  8th SBL Biennial Conference (London)
4th SGP Biennial Conference (Montreux)
1988:  22nd IBA Biennial Conference (Buenos Aires)
1989:  9th SBL/5th SGP Biennial Conferences (Strasbourg)
1990:  23rd IBA Biennial Conference (Nairobi)
1991: 10th SBL Biennial Conference (Hong Kong)
6th SGP Biennial Conference (Montreal)
1992:  Adoption of IBA Human Rights Action Plan – to establish a Trial Observer Corps of 14 members and a network of liaison officers representing bar associations, to report on human rights developments within their jurisdictions and detailing a process for investigating human rights violations and intervention.
1994: Annual conference - Melbourne
1995: Human Right Institute established
Discrimination and Equal Opportunies Law Committee established
1996: Annual conference - Berlin
IBA membership reaches approximately 18,000
HRI reaches almost 9,000 members
2000: Annual conference - Amsterdam
2001: Annual conference - Cancun
2002: 1st External Grant received to increase IBA activity
Annual conference - Durban
2003:  Annual conference - San Francisco
2004: New Divisions Structure established
(Approximately 60 committees in place)
Creation of Bar Issues Commission
Annual conference - Auckland
2005: Opening of Latin American Office in Sao Paulo
Annual conference - Prague
2006: Crossed £10 million revenue barrier
Annual conference - Chicago
2007: 60th Anniversary of the IBA
Annual conference - Singapore
HRI grants reach approximately $10 million
2008: Opening of Middle East Office in Dubai
Annual conference - Buenos Aires
2009: Annual conference - Madrid
2010: Annual conference - Vancouver
2011: Annual conference - Dubai - first IBA annual conference in the Middle East
Announcement of plans to open next IBA office in South Korea
2012: Annual conference - Dublin
IBA opens office in South Korea
2013: Annual conference - Boston
IBA opens office in Washington 
2014: Annual conference - Tokyo
2015: Annual conference - Vienna
IBAHRI celebrates 20th anniversary
2016: Annual conference - Washington