Rule of Law
The Bar Council is committed to upholding the rule of law in the
UK and around the world. Many of our members are advocates in human
rights and constitutional cases in this country and around the
world. Barristers also devote their time to pro bono work, whether
that be providing legal advice or representation for free to those
in need, or by volunteering their skills in another capacity, such
as providing advocacy training in other jurisdictions. For further
information on the Bar's pro bono work, please click here.
Annual International Rule of Law Lecture
This lecture series aims to stimulate debate, to inspire lawyers
to participate in rule of law related work and to promote greater
awareness of the importance of the rule of law. We have been
fortunate over the past decade to attract outstanding speakers from
across the globe, each with their own perspective on the rule of
law and each with their own thoughts on the challenges
The first ten lectures have been published by Wildy's and Sons
Ltd. You can purchase a copy of the book from the
Wildy's and Sons Ltd website.
2016 - Baroness Françoise Tulkens, former
Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights
"Fundamental Human Rights and State Security: Inseparable
2015 - The Honourable Geoffrey Ma, Chief
Justice of Hong Kong
fragility in tandem: The Rule of Law in Hong Kong"
2014 - Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, former Vice
President of the International Court of Justice and Prime Minister
Law in times of turbulence- a Middle Eastern perspective"
2013 - Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of
"Is the open court principle sustainable in the
21st century? An examination of the open court principle as a
component of the Rule of Law"
2012 - Mark Muholland QC, Chairman of the Bar
Council of Northern Ireland
terrorism and the rule of law: a global problem from a Northern
2011 - Patricia O'Brien,
Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at the United Nations
"Legal Issues Facing the United
2010 - The Most Reverend & Rt. Hon. Dr.
John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
"Justice in a Secularising and Pluralising Society"
2009 - Judge Anthony Gubbay, former Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe
"The progressive erosion
of the Rule of Law in Independent Zimbabwe"
2008 - Judge Johann Kriegler, former judge of
the Constitutional Court of South
"The rule of law in
post-colonial Africa: a British legacy?"
2007 - Judge Phillipe Kirsch, President
of the International Criminal Court
"The International Criminal Court-establishing accountability for
the most serious international Crimes""
Statements and letters of concern
The Bar Council speaks out whenever and wherever rule of
law crises occur and will engage with other lawyers' associations
to share best practice on regulatory or professional standards