Inter-Governmental Organization "IGO"

Inter-Governmental Bar Council

Bar Council for the Independent Legal Profession

 

BAR COUNCIL SEAL (500)The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC) is the international “Licensing Bar” of the independent Legal Profession, established as an official agency of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), an autonomous Official Body of the Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO) Ignita Veritas United (IVU), which serves as the host institution providing supporting infrastructure.

 

The Bar Council (IGBC) embodies the original and traditional Bar of the independent Judiciary Profession, governing and expanding the historical class of scholarly Barristers internationally, to uphold the quality and integrity of the Legal Profession of free and independent lawyers.

 

This time-tested model of proven success, which carried civilization from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, promotes the Magna Carta principles of the Rule of Law which are the foundations of all civil rights and human rights.  This authentic practice provides and ensures a necessary balance of power between the State and the Judiciary, by leveraging the primary authority of the Courts of Common Law under customary international law.

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC) has the rare privilege and official authority to establish Solicitors and create proper Barristers by calling to its Bar, granting lawyers an International Practising Certificate, as an official license to practice law worldwide, while preserving their political and jurisdictional independence from any particular State.

 

These unique powers and authorities, and the resulting weight and impact of its Bar status and Practising Certificates as international licenses, are empowered by the universal jurisdiction of an inter-governmental Court of Justice, at the supra-governmental level of conventional international law.

 

The Bar Council (IGBC) provides full and equal opportunity for all Solicitors and Barristers, for earned merit, by fair and open access to achieving qualifications, to enjoy career advancement to the highest levels of the Legal and Judiciary Professions internationally.

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC) is primarily operated by the independent Judiciary of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ) as the IGO High Court for international law and human rights, supported by the Law Faculty of Ignita Veritas University, and the Ministries of Justice of the Member States of the IGO Ignita Veritas United (IVU).

 

All Barristers and Judges of the Bar Council (IGBC) are required to be members of the traditional Templar Inn of Court, and a number of its Barristers choose to practice law in Chambers under the institutional support of the Inn of Court.

 

As a non-profit institution, the Bar Council (IGBC) uses all net proceeds to support the humanitarian operations of the host IGO Ignita Veritas United (IVU), especially including its Human Rights Court of the independent Judiciary, through the Public Access to Justice Endowment (PAJE) Fund.

 

Authentic “Bar” of the Legal Profession

 

Early 19th century British scholars documented that the traditional Bar Council, or modern Bar Association, originated from the physical “Bar, in Courts of Justice”.  This was a “partition”, literally a wooden bar, forming “an enclosure… where the council are placed to plead causes… where the lawyers or advocates are seated, because anciently, there was a bar to separate the pleaders”. [1]

 

Early 20th century legal scholars explained the original practical reasons for having a “partition or bar dividing the English law-courts into two parts”, as being “for the purpose of separating the members and officials of the Court from the prisoners or suitors [plaintiffs], their advocates and the general public.” [2] This was a simple measure to provide basic security and public order, and promote respect for the Court and the Judiciary and Legal Professions.

 

In traditional British law practice, the process of “calling to the Bar”, as a status within the Courts, is the “exclusive privilege” of the “Inns of Court”.  In customary international practice based upon the British system, “Generally attorneys are admitted in one Court to practice in all Courts.  Each of the United States Courts has a Bar of its own.” [3]

 

It is thus an established legal doctrine of customary international law that “The Bar” itself authentically and inherently belongs exclusively to an official Court of Law, which has full authority for the relevant jurisdiction.  As a result of these legal facts, both the Bar and the Inns of Court must be governed by the independent Judiciary Profession, without interference by any branch of government of the State.

 

Legal scholars of the early 20th century documented the legal fact that:  “In most States there is a State Bar Association… These consist of such members of its Bar as desire thus to associate… These associations have no official recognition, but their influence is considerable in recommending… Judicial establishment and procedure.” [4]

 

Here the phrase “no official recognition” means that the true Bar of the independent Judiciary Profession does not recognize governmental State Bars as having legitimacy, because not having a proper Barrister class, and placing the Judiciary under the State, violates customary Common Law under conventional international law.

 

These established facts of the historical record further confirm the legal doctrine that the true Bar of real Barristers can only be governed directly by the official authority of a Court of Law operated by the independent Judiciary Profession, and not by any mere “association” nor other quasi-agency of any State government.

 

Scholars note that in the modern practice of State Bar Associations, such as in the United States, lawyers are not “called to” the Bar, but rather are merely licensed to “practice under” the Bar, such that they never become proper “Barristers”.  This creates only “a separate class of… special pleaders [trial lawyers]… who, instead of being called, took out licenses, granted for one year only, but renewable, to practise [law] under the Bar”, conducting only “the ordinary work of a Junior Barrister.” [5]

 

The reality of this legal fact is evidenced by the major difference in the Oaths administered to State lawyers versus Barristers:  American lawyers only “swear… to abide by the Rules… of the State” [6], whereas Barristers “swear… [to] the Queen… according to law… after the laws and usages of this realm”, explicitly holding the Common Law above all else [7].

 

The “Common Law” is essentially the timeless principles of natural law, of the fundamental legal values common to humanity, as the “Higher Law” above and beyond the limited statutory jurisdiction of the State, as the true “Law above the Law”, established in historical customary law and recognized in modern conventional international law. [8]

 

Therefore, the only authentic model for legitimate regulation of the true Legal Profession is that of the historical Bar Council, comprised of Barristers with special qualifications, governed by the independent Judiciary Profession under authority of an official Court for the relevant jurisdiction.

 

Authentic “Barristers” as Officers of the Court

 

Since medieval times, “lawyers, who are called to the Bar, or licensed to plead, are termed Barristers, an appellation equivalent to licentiate in other countries.” [9] The term “The Bar” thus became “equivalent to the profession of Barrister”, such that the “Call to the Bar” actually means a lawyer being “converted into a Barrister”. [10]

 

“Barristers are… in other countries called Licentiati in Jure [Licentiates in Law].  Anciently Barristers at law” were required to have substantial experience before arguing cases at Bar in the High Courts.  “The time before they ought to be called to the Bar, by the ancient orders, was eight years, now [by 1829] reduced to five”, including training and litigation “exercises… performed in the Inns [of Court]” during a period of about two years. [11]

 

Early 19th century scholars noted that “The duties of a Barrister are to be considered honorary, and… his fees… are reckoned a gratuity, not a hire” [12] [13]. Clients traditionally pay an “honorarium” only to the Chambers (not to the Barrister), such that the Barrister is ethically free to represent the balanced Judiciary perspective of the Court.

 

Related to this practice, Barristers would receive “instructions” only from the client’s Solicitor, or a Solicitor from supporting Chambers, allowing to objectively focus on merits of the case, concentrating on the evidence which is admissible in Court.  Thus being free from various current affairs of clients which may never come to Court, Barristers invest more time on advanced scholarship and engagement with the independent Judiciary Profession.

 

It should be noted that this enhanced degree of objectivity and independence for Barristers, providing greater reputational protections, thereby enables and thus imposes a higher level of responsibility:  Barristers are generally required to accept cases following the traditional “Cab Rank Rule” (by which taxi cabs at the head of a queue must accept the next requesting passenger), without any prejudice nor discrimination, provided that the matter can be handled within the Barrister’s availability, competence and sphere of specialty.

 

These customary rules of practice for Barristers demonstrate the legal fact, that just as “The Bar” authentically belongs to the Court (and not the State), Barristers are actually “called to the Bar” as Officers of the Court, who are thus primarily responsible for upholding the integrity of the Court.  As Barristers are specially trained under Judiciary authority, they are also responsible for upholding the independence of the Judiciary Profession.

 

For these reasons, the term “Barrister… applied to the highest class of lawyers who have exclusive audience in all the Superior Courts, the word being derived from the ‘Bar’ in the law Courts.” [14]

 

In addition to being called to the Bar as a status within the Courts, Barristers must also be specially trained under authority of the Court, in traditional “Inns of Court”:  “Every Barrister in England must be a member of one of the four ancient societies called Inns of Court”. [15]

 

Additionally, “The rank of Barrister is a necessary qualification for nearly all offices of a Judicial character…  Not only the Judgeships in the Superior Courts of law and equity… but nearly all the magistracies… are restricted to the Bar” comprised of Barristers [16].  This confirms that the Bar is necessarily governed by the independent Judiciary, as those same Barristers are recruited to operate its own Common Law Courts.

 

It is noteworthy, that these principles constitute the essential reason why being a “Barrister” is traditionally considered a more prestigious higher class of the Legal Profession, different from “Solicitors” as entry-level lawyers providing general legal work for hire.  Because of the specialized training and practice requirements, and closer interaction with the Judiciary, Barristers do have a higher level of qualification, genuinely setting them apart from the basic lawyers who are State licensed in most jurisdictions to also present cases in the Courts.

 

For these same reasons, the famous “Barrister’s Opinion” is frequently sought and heavily relied upon as authoritative.  The renowned practice of a Barrister’s Opinion (generically called a “Counsel’s Opinion”) is a written report, as a certified expert legal opinion.  Issued by a Barrister, it is as close as possible to a Judicial Opinion, essentially representing the perspective of the Courts.  A Barrister’s Opinion is traditionally requested for resolving any complex legal matters, or for certifying legal facts, legal validity of a status or action, enforceability of legal rights, or the merits and prospects of success of a proposed litigation.

 

Properly, only “Barristers have the rank of Esquires”, which does not apply to Solicitors as State licensed lawyers.  The designation “Esquire” is essentially a courtesy title for Barristers, and not an actual peerage, by the custom of titled nobility treating them as a basic rank of nobility, as a courtesy of respect. [17] However, “no dignity or title confers any rank at the Bar.”  Regardless of holding even the highest nobility titles, “all [Barristers] rank at the Bar merely according to their legal precedence.” [18]

 

These historical facts further confirm that just as the Bar of the Legal Profession does not belong to the State, it is also entirely separate from nobility, and thus exclusively belongs to the independent Judiciary Profession.

 

“When once called to the Bar, no hindrance beyond professional etiquette limits a Barrister’s freedom of action…  A member of an Inn of Court retains his name on the lists of his Inn for life” [19].  This customary rule embodies the Magna Carta principle that lawyers must remain independent, free to challenge the authorities and oppose the interests of the State, to uphold and enforce the rights of the people.  This confirms that the essential role of the independent Judiciary Profession is to govern and support an equally independent Legal Profession.

 

As of 2015, there are fewer than 16,000 Barristers in the British Commonwealth system (of 54 countries), including 35% women and 20% minorities [20].  Of an estimated 2.0 million licensed lawyers worldwide [21], Barristers thus comprise only 0.8% (less than 1%) of lawyers internationally.

 

Equal Opportunity in the Independent Legal Profession

 

Despite the authority of the independent Judiciary over the standing of Barristers in the Bar of the Court, the Inns of Court have full autonomy regarding membership in their own Inn as a law society:

 

“The Benchers… have the right of rejecting any applicant for membership [in the Inn] with or without cause assigned.” [22] As membership in an Inn of Court is a mandatory prerequisite to being called to the Bar, any dominant political factions obstructing membership thereby create an obstacle to achieving the rank of “Barrister”, even if otherwise earned by merit.

 

Unfortunately, that customary practice of the Inns of Court rejecting lawyers “with or without cause”, historically, has enabled a tendency towards an insider culture of elitism, promoting discrimination.  This has made advancement in the legal profession seem highly politicized, preventing many of the most free thinking lawyers from being recognized as “Barristers”, despite having earned merits meeting or exceeding all of the requirements.

 

In modern practice, the British Inns of Court strive to provide equal opportunity, and promote diversity in their membership, even internationally.  However, a greater problem outside of the Inns, possibly continuing old traditions of discrimination through a new form of elitism, comes from obstacles to completing the requirement of “Pupillage”:

 

To become a Barrister, in addition to membership in an Inn of Court, it is also traditionally required to complete a one-year apprenticeship, called “Pupillage”, which is full-time work in a litigation-based law practice, under the mentorship and supervision of experienced senior Barristers.  Opportunities for Pupillage are severely limited to only a select few Barristers’ Chambers (British law firms), which must be granted special status as an “authorized training organization” and “approved legal environment” [23].

 

As a result, it is extremely difficult for qualified Solicitors to ever obtain the required Pupillage.  According to the real internal figures of the British Bar Council, only as few as 8% of candidates are given that opportunity allowing to become a Barrister, such that a full 92% are permanently excluded from career advancement in the Legal Profession. [24]

 

It is noteworthy that if 100% of qualified candidates from the Inns of Court were permitted to receive Pupillage to be called to the Bar as Barristers, this would increase the number of Barristers by 12.5 times.  In this scenario, Barristers would still comprise no more than 10% of lawyers worldwide, and would thus continue to maintain their traditional status and prestige as the exclusive higher class of the Legal Profession internationally.

 

The traditional British Barrister system is currently practiced in only 11 countries:  England, Ireland and Wales, the Crown dependency of Gibraltar, the former colonial territories of Hong Kong, New Zealand, and some regions of Australia and Canada, and otherwise only in Northern Ireland, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

 

Fortunately, the few countries of the British system do not have a monopoly on creating traditional Barristers.  An international Court of the independent Judiciary Profession has the official authority to admit lawyers to its own Inn of Court, providing its own Pupillage arrangements, and calling them to its own Bar.  Such Court of universal jurisdiction can thus create fully legitimate, traditional, proper and titled Barristers, licensed by the Court to practice law worldwide.

 

Bar Council Authorities of International Law

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC) is empowered with official and universal authorities for both the governance and protection of the independent Legal and Judiciary Professions, as mandates declared and protected by codified conventional international law:

 

The Bar Council (IGBC) has a mandate to “exercise its functions without external interference” by States, and to “cooperate with governments to ensure that… [its] lawyers are able, without improper interference, to counsel and assist their clients in accordance with the law” (1990 Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Articles 24, 25).

 

Bar Council ensures the “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms” by “effective access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession”, empowering lawyers to “at all times act freely and diligently” for “protecting the rights of their clients and in promoting the cause of Justice” (1990 Role of Lawyers, Preamble: ¶9, Articles 9, 14).

 

Bar Council advances the rights and authorities of “lawyers without… formal status” of State government licensing or registration, by mandate of international law that “No Court or administrative authority” of a State “shall refuse to recognize the right of a lawyer to appear before it” regardless of recognition (1990 Role of Lawyers, Preamble: ¶11, Article 19).

 

Bar Council asserts international rights that: “Governments shall ensure… effective and equal access to [its] lawyers… without distinction [or] discrimination based on… political or other opinion… or other status” including membership in the independent Legal Profession free from State influence (1990 Role of Lawyers, Article 2).

 

Bar Council has an enforceable mandate for “protecting [its] members from persecution and improper restrictions and infringements”, and to “ensure that lawyers” can practice law “without censorship”, “without intimidation, hindrance, harassment, or improper interference” by any State government or agency (1990 Role of Lawyers, Preamble: ¶10, Articles 8, 16, 25).

 

To provide full and equal opportunity for all lawyers by earned merit, the Bar Council “shall ensure that there is no discrimination… [on] practice within the legal profession on the grounds of… political or other opinion… or other status” (1990 Role of Lawyers, Article 10).

 

Consumer Protection Quality Control of Legal Services

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC) enforces the “duties of a lawyer” to effectively represent the rights and interests of clients “diligently in accordance with the law and recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession”, through disciplinary actions handled “fairly” based upon a “fair hearing” by an “impartial disciplinary committee” and “subject to an independent Judicial review” (1990 Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Articles 9, 14, 27-28).

 

To ensure that disciplinary measures are used exclusively for reasonable quality control, and never abused for political influence, Bar Council lawyers “shall not… be threatened with sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics”, and shall freely practice law “without suffering professional restrictions by reason of their lawful action” (1990 Role of Lawyers, Articles 16, 23).

 

As required by human rights law: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference… nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation” to undermine legal representation of client rights and interests (1948 Declaration on Human Rights, Article 12; 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 17).

 

 


 

[1] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 3, “Bar”, at p.515.

[2] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Bar, The”, at p.378.

[3] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Bar, The”, at p.378.

[4] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Bar, The”, at pp.378-379.

[5] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[6] NoteOaths of lawyers in the United States are openly published on the official websites of all State Bar Associations.

[7] Official Website, About the Judiciary: The Judiciary the Government and the Constitution: Oaths, UK Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, judiciary.gov.uk (March 2017).

[8] Edward Samuel Corwin, The ‘Higher Law’ Background of American Constitutional Law. Liberty Fund (1928), Great Seal Books (1955); Compiled from Harvard Law Review articles by Edward S. Corwin (1878-1963), a Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University (1908-1946).

[9] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 3, “Bar”, at p.515.

[10] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Bar, The”, at p.378.

[11] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 3, “Barristers”, at p.585.

[12] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 3, “Barristers”, at p.585.

[13] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[14] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.437.

[15] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.437.

[16] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[17] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[18] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 14, “Inns of Court”, at p.585.

[19] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 14, “Inns of Court”, at p.584.

[20] Bar Standards Board, Practicing Barrister Statistics (2015), The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, Research Department (21 April 2015).

[21] ABA Lawyer Demographics: Year 2016, American Bar Association; indicating 1.3 million American lawyers, considered to comprise 70% of lawyers in all countries, resulting in an estimated 2.0 million lawyers worldwide.

[22] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[23] Bar Standards Board, Pupillage Statistics (2015), The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, Research Department (21 April 2015).

[24] Bar Standards Board, Review of the Bar Vocational Course: Report of the Working Group, “BVC Report” (2008), “Summary of Conclusions”: Articles 5, 33; “Part A”: Article 28 (key figures), Article 32; “Part B”: Article 60; Note: The official percentage of Pupillages obtained has been increasing to 30-40% as of 2016, only because of the dramatic decline in formal applicants discouraged by the obstacle of unavailability, while the real internal number of potential candidates accepted continues to support the 8% statistic from 2008.

 

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