IBA publishes new code of conduct for the global legal profession

Today, the International Bar Association (IBA) published the IBA International Principles on Conduct for the Legal Profession (IBA International Principles). Developed for practising lawyers across the globe, the 36-page publication provides lawyers with a framework to carry out their professional duties in a manner consistent with upholding the dignity and respect of the profession in relation to their clients.  The aim, through fostering a climate of understanding about the national and international rules that govern the conduct of lawyers, is that the ideals and integrity of the legal profession will be promoted worldwide.

The IBA International Principles is the 21st century version of a set of ethics for the legal profession first introduced more than 50 years ago, with the precursors to today’s edition as the ‘IBA International Code of Ethics’ (1956 and 1988). The gathering pace of globalisation and increase in cross-border transactions has led to the Code of Ethics being  revisited and republished, resulting in today’s publication. A thorough process with input from representatives of the legal profession from all continents has produced 10 core principles which should be common to all lawyers. 

The 10 core values constituting the IBA International Principles, are: 1) Independence; 2) Honesty, integrity and fairness; 3) Conflicts of interest; 4) Confidentiality/professional secrecy; 5) Clients’ interest; 6) Lawyers’ undertaking; 7) Clients’ freedom; 8) Property of clients and third parties; 9) Competence; and 10) Fees. Each principle is clearly defined in the booklet and contains expanded commentary on how it could be used as a basis to establish codes of conduct for lawyers within different jurisdictions.

James Klotz, Chair of the IBA BIC says, ‘We are hopeful that the “IBA International Principles” will serve as a basis for codes of conduct throughout the global legal profession and beyond. It is our aim that governments and other appropriate authorities in relation to furthering and improving the rule of law and defending liberty and justice will also realise the value of the core principles, so essential to the independence of the legal profession and democracy.’ He added, ‘We believe that fledgling bar associations struggling to establish independence, will find the principles a particularly great resource.

Click here to download the IBA International Principles on Conduct for the Legal Profession

Click here to access the IBA BIC website pages.



For further information please contact:

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
International Bar Association

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