Benchmarking Bar Associations

In 2009 the IBA Bar Issues Commission together with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa published a book entitled Benchmarking Bar Association: A Guide for Bar Associations and Law Societies in Developing Countries written by Nusrat Chagtai, now a legal consultant to the Horizon Institute. This book created a step-by- step practical advice, benchmark manual to assist developing bar associations and also an important tool to those working on human rights and law particularly in Africa. It laid out clear guidelines on such matters as bar independence, establishment, ethics, education and financial responsibility to help such developing bar associations.

Nusrat Chagtai

Such was the success of this book, the IBA Bar Issues Commission has now published a second edition – Benchmarking Bar Associations. This new edition, also authored by Nusrat Chagtai, includes contributions from a wide range of sources including an introduction by IBA Executive Director Mark Ellis and a foreword by Monica Pinto, UN Special Rapporteur with the book contents being overseen by Norville Connolly and Philip Tahmindjis.

The new book has a much broader reach in that the areas of guidance have been significantly expanded and updated. New areas covered include membership services, regulation, representation, ethics, disciplinary and complaints procedures, rule of law, human rights and access to justice, pro bono work and international work and relations. The book therefore, while being of particular help to new bar associations, especially in developing countries, will also be a useful tool to bar associations which are already developed but which wishes to benchmark its functioning and scope against best international practice.