The Forum for Barristers and Advocates represents those Bar Associations whose members practise as independent referral practitioners in jurisdictions where the legal profession is divided. It was formed by the Bar Leaders in these jurisdictions to give a voice within the IBA to the principles of independent advocacy. The Forum has played a particular role in addressing the importance to the rule of law of the independence of advocates and the judiciary, the need for ethical conduct and in relation to training and education. The Forum has offered its support on matters relating to human rights and has complemented the work of the Human Rights Institute. In representing the interests of oral advocacy, the Forum has worked with the Judges' Forum and with other Committees to present seminars at recent IBA Conferences on litigation and trial-related topics.
The inaugural members of the Forum for Barristers and Advocates are the Bar Associations of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong, together representing more than 16,000 barristers and advocates.
Membership of the Forum is open to Bar Associations which are full or supporting members of the IBA, and to individual members of any of the Divisions.