January 2010 INPROL Consolidated Response (
) Page 1 of 33
UNMIT's Administration of Justice Support Unit is currently planning to assist infacilitating the establishment of an independent bar association in Timor-Leste.Could you please share your experiences, lessons learned, best practices and relevantguidance material, documents and reports on how best to facilitate the establishment of an independent bar association? Any reference to previous work on this of (non-UN)development partners will also be very useful.
This Consolidated Response focuses on methodologies and comparative approaches toestablishing or reforming an independent bar association in post-conflict states. It hasbeen drafted with the assistance of Vivienne O’Connor, United States Institute of Peace,and Claude Zullo, American Bar Association. Information from the field has beenprovided by Wendy Betts, National Center for State Courts, Gary Hill, INPROLCorrections Facilitator
Louis Gary Lissade, Port-au-Prince Bar Association, Ngozi C.Nwosu, Nigerian Bar Association, David Rubino, American Bar Association Rule of LawInitiative Azerbaijan, and Gina Schaar, American Bar Association Rule of Law InitiativeKosovo. It combines publicly available literature and the practical experiences of expert-practitioners on the establishment and reform of bar associations.
In furtherance of human rights and the rule of law, a society necessarily requires astrong, independent cadre of lawyers. Bar associations essentially serve three roles: aseducators, regulators, and lobbyists for the legal profession. The United Nationsprovides guidance on these functions in theUnited Nations Basic Principles on the Roleof Lawyers (1990), which argues for an independent association of lawyers. It further recommends that the bar association create standards for admission that promotes bothhigh ethical and high legal services standards. Both the Council of Europe and AfricanUnion have supplemented these principles with their own recommendations. Thisresponse provides an overview of international standards on the establishment of bar associations and complements this with comparative examples of domestic legislationand practice relating to bar associations.
Part I briefly provides an overview of how to assess the existing state of the legalprofession in a post-conflict state. Part II discusses the establishment of a bar association. Part III then looks at the development of the bar association. To enhancethis comparative approach, this paper also includes annexes providing overviews of bar associations, as well as links to enabling legislations, by-laws, and codes of conduct.