Institutional issues | 03.11.2018

Issouf Baadhio, first UIA President from Sub-Saharan Africa

In his investiture address, the new UIA president commended the association’s commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, expressed by the election of a sub-Saharan African as its leader, the first since the establishment of the association. Issouf Baadhio took office at the closing ceremony of the association’s 62nd Annual Congress, on 2 November in Porto (Portugal), succeeding Pedro Pais de Almeida.

Issouf Baadhio said that during his term, he would focus on three crucial issues: the link between international law and human rights; the changes in the legal profession in the light of the development of artificial intelligence; consolidation of the conditions for the practice of law.

The new UIA president argued for the emergence of a "human" international law, developed with the other lawyers’ organisations and international organisations. Specifically mentioning the situations of Africa and Third World countries, he wondered: "Does international law, forged out of the Second World War, actually take into account men and women and their fundamental individual rights and freedoms?"

Issouf Baadhio also expressed his concern about the future of the legal profession and said that "artificial intelligence can never replace or integrate human parameters while making a decision or drafting a sentence". Finally, he announced during the ceremony that he wanted "UIA to become a reference and a bulwark against the recurring threats that weigh on the lawyers around the world" and affirmed his firm commitment to act so as “not to accept that a colleague dies because he finds himself alone".

Issouf Baadhio has been fully involved in UIA since 1998, and has held various positions: Member of the Governing Board, Counsellor to the President, Deputy to the Executive Committee, Co-Director of Regional and National Activities within the Executive Committee and National Representative for Burkina Faso.

The new UIA President is a Corporate and State Counsel in Africa, Europe and North America, was called to the Burkina Faso Bar in 1985, and to the Niger Bar in 1990 and has specialized in air, mining, oil, banking and telecommunication law.

Former president of the Burkina Faso Bar Association, Issouf Baadhio was also Chairman of the Board of the Porto Novo Centre International de Formation des Avocats d'Afrique Francophone (CIFAF or International Training Centre for lawyers from French-speaking Africa), Founding Member and Vice-President of the Association des Jeunes Avocats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (West African Young Lawyers' Association) and Member of the World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA) Executive Committee.

To know more about the International Association of Lawyers (UIA)
UIA is a global and multi-cultural organization for the legal profession. Established in 1927, it consists of members spread across 110 countries. It promotes professional development, learning and the Rule of Law while facilitating professional development, training as well as friendship, collegiality and networking among its members.


From left to right: Issouf Baadhio (President), Laurence Bory (Past President), Pedro Pais de Almeida (Immediate Past President)


Issouf Baadhio