IBA African Regional Forum releases a new guide on data protection and privacy laws for the legal profession

The International Bar Association (IBA) African Regional Forum has released a new Data Protection/Privacy Guide for Lawyers in Africa, in recognition of growing requirements for safeguarding of personal data in accordance with legal principles across the continent. The guide was developed in the context of the European Union’s data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which lays out rules and conditions around the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the EU. Since the implementation of the GDPR data controllers in both Europe and Africa have called for the implementation of similar standards in Africa. However, there has been little guidance given to legal practitioners as to how to comply with the directives.

Pieter Steyn, the immediate past Co-Chair of the African Regional Forum and the Guide’s project lead said: ‘The aim of the IBA African Regional Forum’s new guide is to provide vital support for practitioners navigating the complex and changing world of data protection law. Comprehensive and practical in design, the guide will aid lawyers in advising clients and ensuring compliance by their practices with the fast-evolving and increasingly expansive areas of data protection and privacy laws’.

The new guide has drawn on international best practice guidelines and data laws already adopted in African nations.  Chapters include:

  • Data protection in Africa;
  • Data protection principles;
  • Individual rights;
  • Data controller/data processor obligations; and
  • Regulator powers;

Babatunde Ademola Ajibade, SAN (PhD) FCIArb, Chair of the IBA African Regional Forum and Managing Partner at SPA Ajibade & Co in Nigeria, commented: ‘Data protection is of great importance to us all. There are many related rights for individuals, including the right to access, rectification and erasure, all of which must be safeguarded by individuals who have a firm understanding of their legal and moral obligation to ensure the necessity of protection. I am delighted that the IBA African Regional Forum is at the forefront of an initiative to provide guidance to lawyers and bar associations on the new data protection regimes across the continent and the importance of protecting personal data and privacy for individuals and business.’

Read more about the guide and download it here.

Event: NOBC 2017 Annual Meeting

Join the National Organisation of Bar Counsel (NOBC) in New York on 9-12 August 2017 for its Annual Meeting. You’ll get the opportunity to meet and learn from others who  face the same issues.  Session topics include: ‘A discussion about “attacks” on regulatory counsel (and how to deal with them)’, ‘Interplay Between Disciplinary Agencies and Client Protection Funds’ and ‘The Crucible of Lawyer Discipline: The Role of Public Shaming in Promoting Professional Conduct and Protecting the Public’.

Link to full programme and registration details


Disruptive Innovations in Legal Services

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a discussion on protecting and promoting competition in response to disruptive innovations in legal services. It observed that innovation brings new types of competition and new pressures on the regulatory framework, including on professional exclusivity, entry restrictions and self-regulation.

Read more in the competition area of the OECD website

OECD graphic with mobile phone and law icons.





The Governance of Regulators

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has described a regulatory policy and governance framework. This report describes seven principles for the governance of regulators:

  1. Role clarity
  2. Preventing undue influence and maintaining trust
  3. Decision making and governing body structure for independent regulators
  4. Accountability and transparency
  5. Engagement
  6. Funding
  7. Performance evaluation

Read ‘The Governance of Regulators’ on the OECD website


Report cover

Report cover: The Governance of Regulators