Connecting colleagues | Cultivating knowledge | Creating solutions
IAFL is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.
IAFL was formed in 1986 to improve the practice of law and the administration of justice in the area of divorce and family law throughout the world.
Service To Clients
IAFL Fellows are able to provide legal advice to clients and other lawyers on:
Membership of IAFL is by invitation only. Lawyers who are interested in joining IAFL are asked to submit information to satisfy established criteria for membership in order to obtain the approval of the Board of Admissions. The process is a rigorous one, designed to ensure that the high level of expertise within IAFL is maintained.
A Worldwide Network
Since 1986, IAFL has steadily expanded its global reach, the number of countries represented is now 70 and IAFL has over 1,010 Fellows (i.e. members) including 28 judicial fellows and 18 associate (i.e. academic) fellows. IAFL currently has 4 regional Chapters: a USA Chapter with 393 fellows from 40 states; a European Chapter with 334 fellows from 33 jurisdictions; an Asia Pacific Chapter with 147 fellows from 13 jurisdictions and a Canadian Chapter with 57 fellows from 6 provinces and territories. It is hoped that the not too distant future will see expansion with the creation of Chapters in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. Being part of the IAFL community enables Fellows practising international family law to obtain legal advice and assistance of the highest calibre in another country.
International Expertise & Experience
IAFL enables Fellows practising international family law to obtain legal assistance of the highest calibre in another country. Fellows, non-IAFL lawyers and members of the public alike are able to search the IAFL website for the most highly regarded international family practitioners in the countries represented.
IAFL contains a wealth of experience of international practice, and Fellows frequently seek assistance from other Fellows on a wide range of issues. We share information with all Fellows through the members area of our website. IAFL provides Fellows with an invaluable network of contacts throughout the world.
Amicus Curiae Interventions
The IAFL has received permission to intervene in matters before the Supreme Court of the United States and that of the United Kingdom; the Cour de cassation in France; the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic and the Court of Appeal in England and Wales.
The IAFL is regularly asked to provide training to members of the judiciary, most recently from the Judges of the Family Division of the High Court at Lusaka in Zambia and the Kenya Judiciary Academy.
Law Reform and Education
IAFL has supported legislators and law makers across the world in the area of law reform. We have been honoured to have Observer status for many years on a number of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Projects, including the Experts’ Group on Parentage/Surrogacy; Special Commissions on the 1993, 2007, 1996 and 1980 Conventions and the Malta Process.
In addition, IAFL has made presentations and provided education in multiple jurisdictions, for example at the European Parliament and providing evidence to Select Committees from both Houses of Parliament in the UK. IAFL sends representatives to relevant international conferences, promoting the effective operation of international treaties relating to children, service and the taking of evidence abroad, and in relation to the harmonisation of jurisdictional rules in family law. IAFL provides informed commentary to the media in its capacity as an organisation of family law specialists and highlights when the treatment of individuals and families does not meet minimum international standards respecting human rights.
IAFL holds an annual meeting at a different venue each year. The Chapters also meet annually in different locations. Each meeting includes a substantial educational program on family law, in which Fellows and guest speakers of the highest quality present papers and run workshops on international aspects of family law. These meetings provide a great opportunity for Fellows to update themselves on legal developments throughout the world and to establish or renew contact with fellow international family lawyers.