Legal Policy & Research Unit

The IBA Legal Projects Director oversees the Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) and the Bar Issues Commission project lawyers. The team undertakes research, and develops and implements innovative strategies, projects and initiatives that are relevant to business and the rule of law, the global legal profession and the broader global community.

Flagship projects

gatekeepers
Ethics and Anti-Corruption

Examining the professional role of lawyers as ethical gatekeepers within wider society and to help clarify their ethical responsibilities and obligations.

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50:50 by 2030 Gender Project
50:50 by 2030 Gender Project

The IBA ‘50:50 by 2030’ nine-year project aims to uncover the root-causes of the lack of gender parity at the most senior levels of the legal profession.

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Climate Crisis
Climate Crisis

The increase in global temperatures and rising sea levels represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to humanity and life on the planet.

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Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession
Mental Wellbeing

The IBA has embarked on a global campaign to address the mental health crisis in the legal profession, bringing together research and resources from around the world. 

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Our areas of work

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Digital Disruptive Innovation
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Bar related project work
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Future Trends and Focus
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Business and Ethics
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Reports

The LPRU have created and contributed to a number of legal reports, articles and guidance documents.

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Legal Internship Programme

Intern positions are available for undergraduate law students, postgraduate law students, and newly qualified lawyers.

How to apply
Project Proposal Process

Could your project benefit from the support of the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit?

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In 2022-2023 the LPRU:

Participated in over 40 events – in person and online

Drafted 7 reports

Contributed to at least 12 published articles

Recorded 3 podcasts

Was shortlisted for 7 legal industry awards, including Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year and Gender Equality Initiative of the Year

External engagement

LPRU and UN Engagement in 2023

In 2023 the LPRU continued with its global engagement and advocacy on critical policy priorities including climate change, anti-corruption and legal ethics. Our commitment to amplify the IBA's voice on the international stage is evidenced in our multilateral interactions with the United Nations and affiliated organisations, including recent attendance at COP28 and CoSP.

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LPRU and UN Engagement in 2023

Upcoming events

21
FEB
LPRU's Anurag Bana attends Petras summit We Are Connected – Are We Protected? in London

Anurag Bana attends this summit exploring the idea of prioritising the human experience, privacy and security in a digitally connected world. Participants will ask how, in a world where devices are constantly collecting, processing and sharing our personal data, industry practice, research and public policies can prioritise respectful privacy and strategic security.

26
FEB
Sara Carnegie speaks at online event: Fostering cultures of integrity: international perspectives on tackling corruption

Sara Carnegie speaks at this online event, part of the 25th Anniversary of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, co-hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the International Federation of Accountants and the IBA, which considers the urgent need to foster cultures of integrity and active enforcement to tackle the risk of corruption.

7
MAR
Lara Douvartzidis speaks at Cambridge University panel event: Climate Change and the SDGs: Future Directions for International Law

LPRU's Lara Douvartzidis speaks on this panel event hosted by Climate Law and Governance Initiative at Cambridge University. Panellists will discuss how the outcomes of COP28 are shaping international legal policy in its response to climate change. This event is both online and in-person on Thursday 7 March 2024. Register here.

7
MAR
Sara Carnegie chairs panel at Reshaping Legal Services Conference 2024

Sara Carnegie chairs a panel discussion at this event on how regulation can play its part in eliminating unfair power balances and upholding professional standards in the law. The event will be attended by regulators, lawyers, government representatives academics and NGOs. Register here.

14
MAR
LPRU hosts webinar to mark the launch of the IBA Climate Registry

The IBA has launched its Climate Registry, an online platform designed for bar associations and law societies to share information and inspire initiatives in sustainability, the environment and the climate crisis. A peer-to-peer resource, colleagues are encouraged to upload statements and information from their own jurisdictions. Moderated by Lara Douvartzidis, this webinar will discuss the critical role of the legal profession in addressing the climate crisis and explore how lawyers worldwide can contribute to sustainable practices and policy advocacy. Register here.

14
MAR
Beatriz Martinez travels to Brussels to speak at International Women's Day event

Beatriz Martinez travels to Brussels to speak on a panel discussion hosted by law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati about gender disparity at the top of the legal profession. She will discuss the results of the 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project, including the initiatives in place to combat gender disparity and their efficacy.

18
APR
Sara Carnegie speaks on panel at the Law and Climate Change Summit in Stockholm

Sara Carnegie travels to Stockholm to speak at the Law and Climate Change Summit, hosted by the Climate Change Counsel. This one-day event will delve deep into the dynamic intersection of law and climate change, and explore how lawyers can best serve clients and other stakeholders in the ongoing transition. Book your ticket here.

Recent events

9
FEB
Sara Carnegie speaking at Westminster Legal Policy Forum: Next steps for legal professional ethics

Sara Carnegie will speak on a panel at Westminster Legal Policy Forum which brings together stakeholders and policymakers to examine latest developments and challenges in legal professional ethics, including the roles and responsibilities of regulatory bodies and the legal profession, and the need for ethical training for lawyers.

31
JAN
Anurag Bana attends techUK event: Redefining web 3.0: Emerging economies, metaverse technologies, and the new age of the internet

Anurag Bana attends this event hosted by techUK in London, exploring the business opportunities that will be unlocked by the convergence of web 3.0 and Metaverse technologies. Attendees will learn how these new technologies will interact to spark innovative business models and new opportunities across sectors including retail, gaming and more.

31
JAN
Lara Douvartzidis speaks at Law Society of Scotland on Lawyers and law associations - tackling the climate crisis

Lara Douvartzidis joins colleagues from the Law Society of England and Wales and Net Zero Lawyers Alliance to discuss best practice examples and legal duties when advising clients on climate-related issues, and address the key challenges and legal solutions when tackling the triple planetary crisis.

29
JAN
Lara Douvartzidis speaks at Law Society of Scotland on Sustainability, human rights and a just transition

LPRU's Lara Douvartzidis speaks at this online event on how sustainability, human rights, and equality, diversity and inclusion interplay in the quest to ensure a just transition to a net zero world.

17
JAN
Webinar: Human trafficking and the rights of trafficked persons

Sara Carnegie moderates this webinar on the application of the non-punishment principle - the principle that trafficked persons should not be punished for illegal activity resulting from their exploitation. Speakers will discuss the results of the recent report published by the LPRU in collaboration with the British Institute of International Comparative Law (BIICL).

11
DEC
Sara Carnegie attends Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Atlanta

Sara Carnegie travels to Atlanta in December to speak on a panel alongside WEF, IFAC and UNODC on the role of lawyers as ethical gatekeepers; their responsibilities and obligations when providing legal services.

11
DEC
IBA co-hosts Blue Zone event at COP28: Lawyers, Bars and Law Societies in the Climate Crisis

On Monday 11 December the IBA, American Bar Association, Brazilian Bar Association and Law Society of England and Wales will co-host an event in the Blue Zone, covering the unique role of law & law associations in regulating, training & sharing best legal practice examples to further climate objectives & implementation strategies for the net zero transition & realisation of country NDCs.

8
DEC
IBA co-hosts side event at COP28 - Everything, Everywhere, all at Once: Lawyers Tackling the Climate Crisis

On Friday 8 December the IBA, alongside the American Bar Association, Brazilian Bar Association and Law Society of England and Wales, will co-host an off-site event at COP28 in Dubai. Experts will discuss the role that legal professionals and organisations must play in addressing the international challenges posed by climate change.