Robert Ellison

D'Arcy Kemnitz

LGBTQI+ Law Committee

The LGBTI+ Law Committee focuses on the unique legal challenges that individuals may face within various jurisdictions, by reason of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. The committee also aims promote diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession and society at large.

About the Committee

The LGBTQI+ Law Committee tracks developments, advancements and setbacks in various legal areas, including discrimination, criminalisation, family rights, recognition and status, identity, health, immigration, housing and employment, among others. The Committee also recognizes and reflects upon the legal implications of cultural and socio-economic issues to LGBTQI+ interests.

The Committee aims to also promote diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession and society at large by presenting LGBTQI+ ideals and calling attention to legal matters and developments through its sessions, publications, projects and collaborations with other committees in the IBA, as well as with external parties. The Committee welcomes not only LGBTQI+ individuals, but allies as well. We encourage all persons interested in our projects to join the Committee.


Singapore repeals section 377A: A bittersweet victory

This article looks at Singapore’s recent decision to repeal section 377a of the Penal Code, thus decriminalising same-sex conduct between men, and the subsequent statement from the government on whether the definition of marriage will change following the repeal.

Released on Sep 20, 2022

Civil Partnership Bill in Thailand: an update

This article provides an update to the Civil Partnership in Thailand, which was approved earlier this month by the Thai Cabinet. It will allow same-sex couples to register their partnership, along with other legal amendments.

Released on Jul 04, 2022

Fleeing persecution: experience of LGBTI asylum seekers in Australia

In many societies, many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are subject to serious human rights abuses for not conforming to culturally established norms on sexuality or gender. As a result, LGBTI asylum seekers are prone to facing complex challenges arising from discrimination, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in their country of origin.

Is Mexico City really an oasis for LGBTI rights? Conversion therapy ban and LGBTI political rights as recent trends

This article looks at LGBTI rights in Mexico City, and LGBTI political rights and the ban on conversion therapy as recent trends.

Past conferences - summaries

Annual Conference 2019 - Seoul

Our sessions at the IBA Annual Conference in Seoul in September 2019 were part of the wider Diversity and Inclusivity themed day of the IBA. The morning session, 'Asian values and legal systems', dealt with the opportunities and setbacks for advancement of LGBTQI+ rights and interests in enterprises, employment, immigration, property relations, and related matters as a joint session with Diversity and Equality Law Committee.

The afternoon panel for the session 'From East to West', co-sponsored by the Family Law Committee, discussed the recent advancements and issues pertaining to transgender and binary people’s rights in different parts of the world, in particular the right to identity, the right to change name, the right to marry or enter into marriage or civil unions, and non-discrimination.

Annual Conference 2018 - Rome

In Rome, our committee focused on the matter of strategic litigation on Tuesday 8 October 2018 and discussed the widely known landmark cases such as Windsor and Obergefell. Speaker Shannon Minter, NCLR, San Francisco, CA, gave insights as to the pre-planning of the long-term goal to improve legal rights of LGBTQI+ persons and picking up cases and strategy to bring cases to court to achieve full equality and marriage rights.

Our session in Rome on state-sponsored or state-condoned violence against women, LGBTQI+ and other minorities on Wednesday 9 October 2018 raised the very fundamental question whether there need to be changes to the patriarchal base of human societies. The session was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Law Committee, Family Law Committee and Crimes Against Women Subcommittee and received by a broad audience.

Subcommittees and other groups

The LGBTQI+ Law Committee also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • LGBTQI+ Law Committee Advisory Board