Findings From the IBA’s Directory of Regulators of the Legal Profession


IBA’s Directory of Regulators of the Legal Profession

In 2016 the International Bar Association’s Bar Issues Commission published a directory of legal regulators as a resource for the profession. The intention was to identify those who regulate the major stages in the ‘life cycle’ of a lawyer, from qualification/entry to the profession, through ethics and conduct rules to disciplinary matters. The resulting directory indicates those organisations that regulate these different facets of legal practice, with contact information and embedded links to further information.

Which countries does the Directory cover?

The objective of this project was to create a directory/mapping of how legal regulation is conducted around the world. The directory aims to cover the widest range of countries possible and the 163 countries of the WTO were selected as the starting point. However, where the opportunity arose during the compilation of the directory to add additional countries (e.g. Sudan) or sub-national jurisdictions with special status (e.g. Guam and US Virgin Islands), regulatory information on these jurisdictions was incorporated.

Who regulates?

The model of lawyer regulation is set out in legislation in 63% of jurisdictions. Although there are many differences in the way in which regulation of lawyers is carried out in practice in different jurisdictions around the world, there are perhaps five distinct models which are observable:

  • Largely court regulated professions
  • The exclusively bar regulated professions
  • The predominantly or exclusively government regulated professions
  • Legal professions predominantly regulated by independent or delegated authorities
  • Legal professions predominantly regulated on a mixed or shared basis


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