Who we are.
The Australian Bar Association represents nearly 6000 barristers throughout Australia. Since its establishment, the Association has represented Australia’s barristers in seeking legal reform and in representing barristers’ interests and unique viewpoint in the legal profession, both in Australia and internationally. The ABA emphasises that its members occupy a unique role in the administration of justice and the maintenance of the rule of law.
The ABA promotes:
• The Bar’s high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
• Access to justice for all
• The highest standards of ethics, quality and diversity across the profession
• The rule of law and the effective administration of justice
• The development and promotion of business opportunities for Australian barristers in Australia and internationally
The idea of a Bar Association to represent Australia’s barristers at a national level was first raised in the early 1960s. A resolution to form the Australian Bar Association (ABA) was passed on 27 July 1962 at a meeting in Brisbane of representatives of the New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland Bar Associations.
On 24 January, 1963 the inaugural general meeting of the Australian Bar Association was held in the Theatre Royal in Hobart, Tasmania and was attended by around 100 people – including members of the judiciary and the various state Bars, including the Rt. Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia and The Hon. Sir Garfield Barwick QC, the then Attorney-General of the Commonwealth.
The ABA Bar Council now comprises the heads of each of the State and Territory Bars.
Since 1963, the Association has established its position as the peak body representing the interests of members of the Independent Bars from throughout the various States and Territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Download a copy of the ABA Constitution (29 Oct 2016)
ABA Model Rules
Download a copy of the ABA Model Rules
Legal Profession Uniform Rules and Legislation