Legal Policy & Research Unit

The IBA Legal Projects Director oversees the Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) and the Bar Issues Commission project lawyers. The team undertakes research, and develops and implements innovative strategies, projects and initiatives that are relevant to business and the rule of law, the global legal profession and the broader global community.

Flagship projects

gatekeepers
Ethics and Anti-Corruption

Examining the professional role of lawyers as ethical gatekeepers within wider society and to help clarify their ethical responsibilities and obligations.

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50:50 by 2030 Gender Project
50:50 by 2030 Gender Project

The IBA ‘50:50 by 2030’ nine-year project aims to uncover the root-causes of the lack of gender parity at the most senior levels of the legal profession.

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Climate Crisis
Climate Crisis

The increase in global temperatures and rising sea levels represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to humanity and life on the planet.

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Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession
Mental Wellbeing

The IBA has embarked on a global campaign to address the mental health crisis in the legal profession, bringing together research and resources from around the world. 

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Our areas of work

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Digital Disruptive Innovation
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Bar related project work
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Future Trends and Focus
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Business and Ethics
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Reports

The LPRU have created and contributed to a number of legal reports, articles and guidance documents.

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Legal Internship Programme

Intern positions are available for undergraduate law students, postgraduate law students, and newly qualified lawyers.

How to apply
Project Proposal Process

Could your project benefit from the support of the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit?

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In 2022-2023 the LPRU:

Participated in over 40 events – in person and online

Drafted 7 reports

Contributed to at least 12 published articles

Recorded 3 podcasts

Was shortlisted for 7 legal industry awards, including Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year and Gender Equality Initiative of the Year

External engagement

LPRU and UN Engagement in 2023

In 2023 the LPRU continued with its global engagement and advocacy on critical policy priorities including climate change, anti-corruption and legal ethics. Our commitment to amplify the IBA's voice on the international stage is evidenced in our multilateral interactions with the United Nations and affiliated organisations, including recent attendance at COP28 and CoSP.

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LPRU and UN Engagement in 2023

Upcoming events

16
APR
Emily Morison attends ‘Exploring the Intersections: Climate Change, Displacement and Civic Space’ in London

Emily Morison attends a meeting of legal professionals and NGOs interested in pro bono and the intersections of climate change, displacement, and civic space, organised by PILnet. The event – hosted at the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom – explores how climate change and large-scale displacement are connected, and how pro bono lawyers can effectively respond to these global crises in partnership with civil society. Find more information and register here.

18
APR
Sara Carnegie speaks on panel at the Law and Climate Change Summit in Stockholm

Sara Carnegie travels to Stockholm to speak at the Law and Climate Change Summit, hosted by the Climate Change Counsel. This one-day event will delve deep into the dynamic intersection of law and climate change, and explore how lawyers can best serve clients and other stakeholders in the ongoing transition. Book your ticket here.

20-21
APR
Anurag Bana represents the IBA at the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts in Qatar

Anurag Bana travels to Doha to participate in the 5th Full Meeting of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts (SIFoCC) He joins senior judicial representatives from jurisdictions all over the world to discuss topics including how to develop the relationship between Commercial Courts, Arbitration and Mediation, greater transnational judicial cooperation, AI in Disputes and ESG corporate activity and the rule of law.

Recent events

26-27
MAR
Sara Carnegie travels to Paris to attend the OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum

Sara joins a panel discussion comprising representatives from organisations including the OECD, FATF and Transparency International, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Anti-Bribery Convention. Contributors will focus on the role of enablers in facilitating corruption and financial crime, and how anti-corruption policies and integrity frameworks can enhance our ability to respond to the challenges and risks posed by corruption to our democracies. Register here.

20
MAR
Sara Carnegie speaks at UN Commission on the Status of Women: Gender Mainstreaming in Social Protection Services & Infrastructure: A Global Legal Appraisal

Sara Carnegie participates in this high-level panel discussion at the 68th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW68). International panellists will discuss gender mainstreaming and how effective the strategy has been in the establishment of operational social  protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure. The event takes place online at 4pm GMT on Wednesday 20th March.

14
MAR
Beatriz Martinez travels to Brussels to speak at International Women's Day event

Beatriz Martinez travels to Brussels to speak on a panel discussion hosted by law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati about gender disparity at the top of the legal profession. She will discuss the results of the 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project, including the initiatives in place to combat gender disparity and their efficacy.

14
MAR
LPRU hosts webinar to mark the launch of the IBA Climate Registry

The IBA has launched its Climate Registry, an online platform designed for bar associations and law societies to share information and inspire initiatives in sustainability, the environment and the climate crisis. A peer-to-peer resource, colleagues are encouraged to upload statements and information from their own jurisdictions. Moderated by Lara Douvartzidis, this webinar will discuss the critical role of the legal profession in addressing the climate crisis and explore how lawyers worldwide can contribute to sustainable practices and policy advocacy. Register here.

5-8
MAR
Anurag Bana speaks at Hague Conference on Private International Law

Anurag Bana will participate remotely at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) Council on General Affairs and Policy. The LPRU is invited to participate thanks to the IBA's observer status with the HCCH.

7
MAR
Beatriz Martinez presents the findings of the 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project to Chilean University

IBA Vice President Jaime Carey gives the keynote address at this event at Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile on gender disparity in the Chilean legal profession. Beatriz Martinez joins the panel, including law firms and in-house counsel, to present the findings of the 50:50 by 2030 Chile report. The event takes place online at 12pm GMT.

7
MAR
Lara Douvartzidis speaks at Cambridge University panel event: Climate Change and the SDGs: Future Directions for International Law

LPRU's Lara Douvartzidis speaks on this panel event hosted by Climate Law and Governance Initiative at Cambridge University. Panellists will discuss how the outcomes of COP28 are shaping international legal policy in its response to climate change. This event is both online and in-person on Thursday 7 March 2024. Register here and click here for the agenda.

7
MAR
Sara Carnegie chairs panel at Reshaping Legal Services Conference 2024

Sara Carnegie chairs a panel discussion at this event on how regulation can play its part in eliminating unfair power balances and upholding professional standards in the law. The event will be attended by regulators, lawyers, government representatives academics and NGOs. Register here.

26
FEB
Sara Carnegie speaks at online event: Fostering cultures of integrity: international perspectives on tackling corruption

Sara Carnegie speaks at this online event, part of the 25th Anniversary of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, co-hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the International Federation of Accountants and the IBA, which considers the urgent need to foster cultures of integrity and active enforcement to tackle the risk of corruption.

21
FEB
LPRU's Anurag Bana attends Petras summit We Are Connected – Are We Protected? in London

Anurag Bana attends this summit exploring the idea of prioritising the human experience, privacy and security in a digitally connected world. Participants will ask how, in a world where devices are constantly collecting, processing and sharing our personal data, industry practice, research and public policies can prioritise respectful privacy and strategic security.

9
FEB
Sara Carnegie speaking at Westminster Legal Policy Forum: Next steps for legal professional ethics

Sara Carnegie will speak on a panel at Westminster Legal Policy Forum which brings together stakeholders and policymakers to examine latest developments and challenges in legal professional ethics, including the roles and responsibilities of regulatory bodies and the legal profession, and the need for ethical training for lawyers.