Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law

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.

Featuring contributions from four Nobel laureates, Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law (2013) – the Report of the Second Phase of the IBA Presidential Task Force on the Global Financial Crisis – is a first attempt at dealing thoroughly with the post-GFC effects on poverty. Intended to help legal practitioners and those who interpret their efforts more decisively down the path, this book captures an essential core of issues and approaches, and it is hoped that it may be a stimulus to the continuation of such work in these and other relevant fields.

“This is a book that not only teaches how integral legal support is to achieving social change but also provides a comprehensive analysis of the concept of justice, as both theory and a practical approach in the wake of the GFC

Máximo Bomchil
IBA Council Member; Co-Chair, IBA Law Firm Management Committee (2013–2014);
Senior Partner of M & M Bomchil, Buenos Aires


Click on a chapter title for more information, film clips and quotes.

Book reviews

“The various articles offer great inspiration to discussing the role lawyers and law firms currently play, and possibly could play, in the fight against poverty.”

Søren Jenstrup
President of the Danish Bar and Law Society and officer-at-large, IBA Bar Issues Commission

“The focus… is on what can be done now, even despite dysfunctional governments and public indifference (or even hostility) to the plight of the poor.

Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law and the initiative by the International Bar Association, constitute an important step away from the unfortunate, but sometimes well-deserved, perceptions of lawyers as accomplices in poverty, inequality, and class oppression, and toward a proper recognition of our role as agents in their eradication. These goals are well within our grasp.”

Read the full review here

Norman Clark
Co-founder, Walker Clark, Fort Myers FL; Chair, IBA Law Firm Management Committee (2009–2010); member of the IBA Working Group on Poverty, Empowerment, and the Rule of Law

“The book recognises that there are shortcomings in many legal systems which during the GFC have seen the most vulnerable of humanity become further disadvantaged. It contains an impressive set of practical suggestions for law reform, and harnessing the clear strength of the legal profession to achieve changes which will improve both the quality of, and access to, justice globally.”

Margery Nicholl
Deputy Secretary-General and Director, International, Law Council of Australia

“A common mistake of such books is that they confuse the Kantian sein und sollen, and instead of being planted in reality they are simply dreaming. This book avoids this. The statistical analyses, the case studies, the accounts of laws and international treaties help us to understand the reality, and to plan the next steps – in particular for the legal profession. This book is necessary and useful.”

Péter Köves
Vice President of the Budapest Bar of Lawyers Association; Former President of The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (2008);Founding Partner, Lakatos, Köves and Partners

“It is certainly our duty not to rest until there is no injustice being committed against human beings and communities – and no injustice is crueler than extreme poverty. It seems that this awareness is more and more present among the members of the legal profession, and it is certainly present in the IBA. This is evidenced by a work of the magnitude of this book Poverty, Justice and the Rule of Law, brilliantly edited by Peter Maynard and Neil Gold.”

Horacio Bernardes-Neto
Motta, Fernandes Rocha Advogados, São Paulow