English Bar to help rebuild Iraqi legal system

The English Bar has taken on a key role in rebuilding Iraq’s shattered legal system.

Leading members of the Bar Council will pay visits to Iraq, subject to the security situation, in 2005.

Its central role will be providing legal education and advice on self-regulation and professional standards to Iraqi lawyers and judges. This will include drafting new rules governing the ethics of the Iraqi Bar Association.

Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, chairman of the Bar’s international relations committee, said: “Lax admission standards over the past 10 years have resulted in too many lawyers practising at a sub-standard professional ability.

“More stringent entry standards will be developed and introduced, including a law degree from a recognised law faculty, and the need for sufficient experience and the completion of a written examination, which only the able will pass.”

Members of the 20,000 strong Iraqi Bar Association are due to visit London next year.

The Bar Council was appointed by the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) to lead one of eight projects aimed at rebuilding Iraq’s judicial system.