The Impact of International Lawyer Organizations on Lawyer Regulation
75 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2018
This article examines the ways in which international lawyer organizations affect lawyer regulation throughout the world. It focuses specifically on the activities of the International Bar Association, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, and the American Bar Association. After describing the composition, governance, and activities of the three organizations, the article shows the important role they play in shaping admission requirements, and ethical standards for lawyers, the structure of lawyer regulatory systems, and attitudes about the role of lawyers in society. The organizations’ efforts to influence lawyer regulation are motivated by a desire to protect lawyers’ independence, promote various commercial and political interests, respond to the regulatory efforts of other international actors, and advance the rule of law and human rights. The lawyer organizations work toward these objectives through information sharing, public statements, articulating standards, developing guidelines and indices, and in other ways. Through these activities, which create both hard and soft law, international lawyer organizations are facilitating the increasing convergence of the law governing lawyers and promoting a particular vision of lawyers in civil society.
Keywords: legal profession, lawyers, bar associations, regulation, rule of law
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