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International Law Book Facility (ILBF)

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The ILBF is a small charity with a big impact. Its purpose is to ship good quality second-hand law books, donated by the UK legal community, to organizations and institutions across the globe who are involved in access to justice, pro bono, education and the administration of justice. The mission of the ILBF is to support the rule of law through sharing legal knowledge.

Since 2005 the ILBF has sent over 53,000 books to more than 190 not-for-profit organisations in 51 countries. The organisations who have received the books stretch from the Caribbean to Africa, to Asia and the Pacific, from the smallest jurisdictions to some of the largest. The organisations include university law libraries, access to justice groups, human rights groups, judiciaries, Law Reform Commissions, Ministries of Justice and prisons.

The ILBF is staffed by volunteers from a number of partner organizations, including the judiciary, law firms, barristers’ chambers, the IBA and the Law Society and legal publishers. This collaboration is a powerful tool in advancing the rule of law. In a recent example of this work in action, the ILBF joined with partners and local agencies to deliver 124 text books to Wollo University in Ethiopia. More about the ILBF and a short film about the charity can be found on the website at www.ilbf.org.uk.
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Feedback from some of the organisations who have received books

English law continues to be relevant to many countries. As The Rt Hon The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Chief Justice said in the ILBF’s 10th anniversary film: ‘it underpins prosperity, strengthens democracy and so we are anxious to make it available to as many people as possible.’ The feedback we get from the recipients of the books emphasises how valuable printed legal resources are. Madalitso Kausi, State Advocate in Malawi said in the 10th anniversary film, ‘We have a [legal] system which we adopted, but it was not adopted together with materials but now things are improving… These books will significantly equip the young lawyers….to help with the jurisprudence of our country so that Malawi should have a strong legal system’. 

From Myanmar, U Win Myint, Secretary of the Rule of Law Committee, which is chaired by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said: ‘The Parliamentary Rule of Law Committee has received over 1,200 books from the International Law Book Facility to establish a new library. These invaluable legal resources will be available for our committee members to use during the next parliamentary session.’ For the African Prisons Project in Kenya and Uganda, the textbooks donated by the ILBF are essential to the prisoners and prison officers undertaking legal studies and to provide resources for the legal advice clinics set up for the benefit of prisoners who can’t afford a lawyer. As Pascal Kakuru, APP student and inmate said in recent feedback: ‘This is exactly what we have been waiting for. Now we have everything we need to adequately prepare for our upcoming exams!’ 

In Uganda, ILBF books are assisting Agnes Kisamba, Legal Officer at the Uganda law Reform Commission: ‘Books from the UK are very important to us, they assist us in our research, giving the best procedures for us to be able to reform, revise and edit our laws.’ And from Mr Atarino A Helieisar, Chief Law Librarian, Supreme Court, Federated States of Micronesia, ‘ILBF will always be one of the best donors to our law libraries of the FSM Supreme Court. May they continue the work of giving and helping around the world with this miracle books that shines on everyone.’