Presidential Task Force on the Financial Crisis

Few contemporary questions are as fundamental for the legal profession as the wellbeing (or lack thereof) of more than one billion people on the planet living in poverty.

Following on from the work of the IBA Presidential Task Force on the Financial Crisis in 2009/10, the Second Phase of the Task Force has released Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law, an in-depth report on the aftermath of the GFC and its effect on poverty, employment, welfare and good governance, featuring contributions from leading lawyers and academics including four Nobel laureates.

Read more about the report, browse individual chapters, view filmed content and download your free copy of Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law

In this short film, Chair of the Task Force and co-editor of the book Peter Maynard introduces the report, and discusses the important role of lawyers in tackling global poverty in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Speaking on the book’s central themes are Nobel laureates Muhammad Yunus and Joseph Stiglitz; Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University Thomas Pogge; and author of the Millennium Development Goals Mark Malloch Brown.

Click the banners below for more information on the Task Force, its aims, leadership and members.


Since the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008, the years have been characterised by unprecedented economic volatility and government debt burdens. The events that followed the GFC set back many attempts to escape poverty, propelled people into poverty for the first time, or significantly increased their degree of economic and social inequality, not only in developing countries, but everywhere.

Corporate governance and responsibility, labour and employment law, pro bono activities, the empowerment of women and vulnerable groups, and the rule of law are not the mainstays of an activist agenda. Rather, they are part of the ‘day job’ of business lawyers and the daily aspirations of the law for everyone. Business lawyers have a professional responsibility to understand the issues and advise clients of the impact on their activities. Their clients have a responsibility to their own interests and to the communities in which they operate to act in ways that promote social and economic wellbeing.

The Task Force was led by the IBA's Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID).

Peter Maynard

Peter D Maynard
 Managing Partner, Peter D Maynard Counsel and Attorneys;
Past Chair, PPID
Task Force Chair

Neil Gold, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor (Task Force Secretary)
Livingston Armytage, Director of the Centre for Judicial Studies
Diamond Ashiagbor, Professor, SOAS, University of London
Martín Böhmer, Professor, University of San Andres, and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law and Social Science, University of Buenos Aires
Marius Job Cohen, Former law professor, dean of law and rector magnificus at Maastricht University
John Corker, Director of Australia’s National Pro Bono Resource Centre
Adrian Evans, Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Law, Monash University
Bryan Horrigan, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Law, Monash University
Jan Loorbach, Dean, Dutch Bar Association
Shelley Marshall, Senior Lecturer, Business Law and Taxation, University of Monash
Sigrun Skogly, Professor, Head of Department, Lancaster University Law School
Birgit Spiesshofer, Attorney at Law, Salans
Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate; Professor, Yunus Centre

The Task Force's report, Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law, is now available to download for free and will be launched at the IBA Annual Conference 2013 in Boston at the session 'Tackling poverty - the law's role'.

The Report features contributions from authors including four Nobel Laureates: James Heckman, Joseph Stiglitz; Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus.

Read more about the Report >