The ILBF’s first 15 years – a wonderful journey

In 15 years the ILBF has achieved more than its founders imagined might be possible. The numbers are only part of the story but they are something to celebrate. Over 65,000 legal textbooks delivered to more than 190 organisations in 53 countries across six continents!

From the very beginning, when Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd and others launched the ILBF in 2005, our partners and supporters have come from across the legal profession, including: the judiciary, law firms and barristers’ chambers as well as from publishers. This has allowed us a very firm foundation from which to grow. The accumulated years of expertise that have been so generously given over the years would add up to a millennia’s worth at least. And those partners and supporters continue with us today.

The recipients of our shipments tell us that books from the ILBF provide hugely important research resources that enable them to educate lawyers of the future, win important cases, revise laws, rebuild after disasters and war, support judges and strengthen access to justice and the rule of law. This is our simple but essential mission. We’ll be sharing a short film from some of our recipients later this year.

Since our 10th anniversary in 2015, we have developed partnerships with organisations who share our goal to support the rule of law and access to justice. Our books now complement judicial training programmes led by ROLE UK, the Judicial Office and the Slynn Foundation, reconstruction in countries such as Iraq, the development of human rights organisations and courts, and legal education initiatives such as the African Prisons Project (now known as Justice Defenders). The ILBF is proud to play its part in these programmes.

Our collaboration is now truly international; ranging from our work with judges in Australia to support Papua New Guinea and Nauru, to working with the Union Internationale des Avocats to support lawyers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the past five years we have also broadened our UK support-base. We had insufficient donations of good quality student texts so we are delighted to work with a number of student groups at UK universities, who have collected, sorted and packed student textbooks. This has enabled us to ship to more universities and law schools in additional countries. The students at Nottingham and Durham Universities and the University of Law at Guildford are only three amongst many great examples.

We have also extended our reach to in-house legal teams; allowing us to benefit from their logistical support and local contacts, as well as much needed funding. The projects over the last two years with Anglo American’s and De Beers’ in-house lawyers under their joint Ambassadors for Good programme have delivered tangible benefits to recipient organisations in Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, with plans to ship to Zambia later this year.

So, reflecting on the ILBF’s journey since 2005 inspires us for the future and the next 15 years. We want to build on our success and to continue to provide good quality legal resources in support of access to justice and legal education across the world. Securing funding is a major challenge to be addressed in our anniversary year, and we are also as keen as ever to find additional strategic partners to work with.

‘The ILBF has been an inspirational part of my life for all its 15 years. I am incredibly grateful for the breadth of support from across the UK legal and publishing community. Please help us to make the next 15 years as successful through your continued support and funding.’  Paul Lowenstein QC

Paul Lowenstein QC, Chairman of Trustees

Katrina Crossley, CEO