The Bar of England and Wales is very internationally orientated.
A significant proportion of its members have an international
practice and that number is increasing all the time. Clients in
need of international legal advocacy or advisory services in any
field of law can find the right experts at the English Bar.
For all enquiries related to international relations and
international practice issues please contact a member of the International Relations
The International Committee and team work to promote both the
interests of the Bar and the rule of law abroad in the following
Strengthening links with overseas bar associations and international legal bodies
The Bar Council has close links with bar associations in other jurisdictions and is a member of the Council of European Bars and Law Societies, the International Bar Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the International Council of Advocates and Barristers, and the International Criminal Bar. We work actively with these and other bodies to develop international rules and standards for the profession, as well as providing networking opportunities at their conferences.
Representing the Bar in Brussels
The Bar Council maintains a Brussels Office which allows us to monitor legal developments within the European Union, influence debates on major regulatory and law reform issues and promote the interests of the Bar to the EU institutions.
International Business Development
The International Committee and team provide a wide variety of services to help members of the Bar develop their international practices.
The services include organising promotional missions to priority jurisdictions, hosting incoming legal delegations, organising exhibition booths and networking events at international legal conferences, running a grants scheme for young barristers to attend international events, publishing brochures to market the Bar overseas and much more. We work closely in this area with the Specialist Bar Associations to ensure strategy and activities reflect members' interests. Please visit the Events, Opportunities, Business development missions and Placement and Exchange programmes pages for the current programme of activities.
International Practice Rules
Barristers wishing to practise internationally should acquaint themselves and their clerks with the International Practice Rules. More information is contained in the "The Bar Handbook 2011-2012", available from Lexis Nexis.
When practising abroad, barristers must also observe any restrictions on foreign lawyers' practice contained in local law and in the rules of foreign legal professional regulators. If you wish to find out how to obtain rights of audience or what your practice rights as a barrister are in overseas jurisdictions it is generally best to contact first the local Bar association. You will find a useful list of bar association contact details here.
Practical guidance produced by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) for advocates appearing before the Court of Justice of the EU in preliminary reference cases is available here.
The Bar Council is constantly working with government and other appropriate bodies to improve the access of barristers to foreign legal markets. Should you encounter any difficulties in representing your clients abroad, it is worth contacting the Head of International, as we may be able to assist.
Promoting the 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 have advocated in human rights and constitutional cases in this country and around the world. The Bar Council speaks out whenever and wherever rule of law crises occur in the world.
The legal profession is a key element in the rule of law architecture. Hence we also work with bar associations overseas if they wish to share best practice on regulatory or professional standards matters.
An annual International Rule of Law Lecture helps to engage the profession with current issues concerning the rule of law.
We also provide support for and work with the Bar Human Rights Committee which for over 20 years has defended human rights lawyers in other jurisdictions and trained them in human rights law and practice.