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IBA Task Forces

The IBA has convened a number of Task Forces to look into pressing contemporary issues.

A Child Rights Response to Child Migration and Migrant Children at Risk

The Taskforce on the Refugee Crisis Initiative was formed by the IBA to highlight the difficulties faced by refugee and migrant unaccompanied children. The showcase resulted in providing 2 reports.

The report from the IBA and Irish Centre for Human Rights examines the situation of children on the move in the context of international migration, with a focus on separated and unaccompanied children. Beginning with an overview of the most recent relevant data, there follows an analysis of international and regional legal and policy frameworks pertaining to child migration and trafficking in human beings. Selected examples of good, weak and promising practice are documented, with gaps in the protection of migrant children identified, followed by recommendations on strengthening the effectiveness of international legal standards protecting migrant children. The report concludes with a comprehensive assessment on the role that the IBA can play by drawing on the expertise, influence and collaborative networks of the global legal community to strengthen the enforcement and implementation of international legal standards relating to the migrant child.

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A Model Instrument for an Emergency Evacuation Visa

This study offers an overview of available “complementary pathways” to international protection, taking stock of existing initiatives across countries and regions of the world, including national and regional resettlement programmes, private and community sponsorship schemes, humanitarian corridors, and evacuation mechanisms, such as UNHCR-facilitated Emergency Transit Facilities (ETF), Emergency Transit Centres (ETC), and Emergency Transit Mechanisms (ETM), distilling best practices, which are used as a basis for the formulation of an Emergency Evacuation Visa (EEV) to be employed in life-threatening circumstances. As a measure addressing refugees and persons in refugee-like conditions, the proposed EEV provides a channel to access international protection in a safe and regular manner to displaced individuals in high-risk situations, whether they are still in their countries of origin or already in transit, and regardless of prior 1951 Refugee Convention status recognition. The annexed EEV Model Convention thrashes out the main elements of the initiative, which is intended to be consensus based, multi stakeholder and multi sectoral. It aims to achieve concrete solidarity and responsibility sharing; to expand access to durable solutions in humanitarian emergencies; and to foster self-reliance and autonomy on the part of beneficiaries, in line with the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration. It is proposed that it be supported by an EEV fund and coordinated by UNHCR within an EEV Working Group composed of freely adhering State and non-state partners, whose main task is the identification of EEV-relevant areas, using UNHCR emergency assessment tools, with presence in the agreed locations determining inclusion in the EEV scheme. The EEV is thus proposed as a highly adaptable, context-sensitive tool, targeting a particular, finite group in need of international protection in specific EEV-designated zones, solely intended to facilitate travel to the EEV-issuing country for the purpose of submitting an asylum application upon arrival. It draws on the UNHCR Three-Year Strategy (2019-2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways and the Strategic Directions 2017-2020.

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The IBA-OECD Task Force on The Role of Lawyers and International Commercial Structures was established by the Secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the International Bar Association (IBA) in late 2016 to review and consider the role of lawyers in detecting, identifying and preventing illegal conduct in commercial transactions, in particular transactions with an international character, where the risks of such conduct may be higher.

Since its launch in May 2019 the joint IBA/OECD report on the Role of Lawyers and International Commercial Structures prepared by a Task Force encompassing all the IBA’s constituencies (the “Report”) has attracted significant attention in the legal and business community. Some of the issues dealt with in the Report, which have been the subject matter of extensive consultation and discussions with a number of bars and law societies across the word at the time the Report was prepared, have nonetheless raised criticism by some individual bars and law societies and by CCBE, The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe. On 8 July 2019 CCBE’s President Mr. José de Freitas sent a letter to the Members of the Task Force, including IBA’s President Horacio Bernardes Neto, raising criticism on the content of the Report and attaching a note containing certain specific observations and comments. In the spirit of respect and cooperation which has always characterized the relationships between IBA and CCBE, IBA has offered to CCBE’s President to publish a copy of the note in the relevant section of its website. The note, to which the IBA has decided not to formally respond, remains CCBE’s own position. The IBA, fully mindful of the need to protect the core values of the legal profession, confirms its commitment in promoting integrity and fighting against corruption in all sectors.

This report forms part of the International Bar Association’s (IBA’s) ongoing work on cybersecurity. The IBA Presidential Task Force on Cybersecurity (the ‘Task Force’) has the objective of: producing a set of recommended best practices to help law firms: to protect themselves from breaches of data security; assisting their ability to keep operations running if a breach of data security or ransom attack does occur; giving their clients the best possible assurances that their data is protected; and helping protect the reputation of the profession.

Read 2018 report

This Task Force was formed to continue to address the scope of the international human trafficking problem, efforts by governmental and private organisations to mitigate the problem, and what the legal profession, specifically the IBA, can contribute.

In its report, the Task Force analyses the links between human trafficking and public corruption and sets out a number of proposals and recommendations to help deal with this crucial issue.

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The legal profession is in a period of profound change, the pace of which is intensifying. Change on this scale can be both threatening and challenging, but change can also make way for new opportunities. The IBA Task Force on the Future of Legal Services was formed to address critical issues arising from change, and to make a tangible and meaningful contribution to help our profession transition through this period.

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The Presidential Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights was established in 2012, under the Presidency of Michael Reynolds, to address the justice concerns posed by the climate crisis and to support the IBA in assessing the challenges to the current international legal regimes on the climate emergency.

The Model Statute for Proceedings Challenging Government Failure to Act on Climate Change was launched in February 2020. Based on advice from leading experts, it provides detailed rationales, precedents and 23 specific Articles for reforms which will enable citizens to ask for judicial review of the sufficiency of their government’s climate measures and, where these are lacking, to assess whether more government measures are warranted under domestic laws. It is important to note that the Model Statute does not address climate suits against private entities, as these involve distinct legal theories and defences.

The Task Force’s comprehensive report entitled Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Change Disruption was published in 2014.

The IBAHRI has convened a task force to analyse how illicit financial flows, and  specifically the proceeds of tax evasion, impact on poverty and subsequently affect the enforcement of economic-socio and cultural rights  (ESCR).

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This Task Force, commissioned by Past President of the IBA, Akira Kawamura, follows on from and builds on the work done on financial regulation in the first phase of the project.

Mr Kawamura asked that the Task Force focus on the aftermath of the GFC rather than just the crisis itself. He encouraged the Task Force to be forward-looking.

The Task Force was led by the IBA's Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID). A report was published and launched at the IBA Annual Conference 2013.

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The Presidential Task Force on the Independence of The Legal Profession seeks to assess threats to the independence of lawyers around the world, and in addition to this in its report offers a valuable self-assessment tool, for those who wish to take the first step in addressing negative influences on the profession’s ability to remain independent.

Read 2016 report

The IBAHRI convened a Task Force, comprising world-famous jurists, in order to analyse the considerable developments in international law and practice.The events of 9/11 set governments and international law-making bodies a number of complex and novel legal challenges in terms of responding to global terrorism whilst protecting people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

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