Daily Archives: 15/05/2018

USA: Advocates in Defense of Advocates: Protection of Lawyers Facing Governmental Suppression and Interference

New York City Bar

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Program | 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Cocktail Reception
Program Fee: Free for City Bar Members | Free for NYSBA International Section Members and Global Law Week Attendees | $30 for Non-Members

NYSBA International Section Members and Global Law Week Attendees, please click here to register.

NY CLE Credit: 2.0 Professional Practice

Description: 
The program will discuss a disturbing legal trend where lawyers face increasing pressure from their own governments to not engage in representing certain categories of people. Typically, governments will engage in retaliatory conduct such as harassment, disbarment, surveillance, and even detention, torture, and extrajudicial killing to prevent lawyers from performing their basic functions. The program panelists will discuss relevant international legal standards aimed at protecting lawyers and judges. Panelists from Europe will discuss how the EU facilitates protections to lawyers within and without the EU. Panelists will also discuss their organizations’ work representing lawyers and ongoing challenges they face during the course of that representation. Examples of existing laws which target lawyers will be provided and discussed.

Panelists:
Teng Biao, U.S. Asia Law Institute, New York University
Javier Benavides, Law Professor, Centro Universario Villanueva and Head of the International Section of the  Spanish Bar
Martin Flaherty, Leitner Family Professor of Law, Fordham University, and Visiting Professor of Law, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Etienne Lesage, Lesage Avocats, Paris Bar, and Observatory for Lawyers in Danger

https://services.nycbar.org/iMIS/Events/Event_Display.aspx?WebsiteKey=f71e12f3-524e-4f8c-a5f7-0d16ce7b3314&EventKey=IND061318

http://www.nycbar.org/

France: Lettre ouverte à madame la présidente du Conseil national des barreaux

le 15 mai, 2018

Le SAF

Madame la Présidente,

Le 11 avril dernier, nous avons manifesté en masse avec les magistrats et personnels de justice pour s’opposer au projet de loi réformant la Justice, lequel ne vise qu’à faire des économies au mépris des droits des justiciables.

Or depuis, que s’est il passé ?…. La Garde des Sceaux a présenté son projet de loi au Conseil des ministres et vous en a remis une copie le jour même. Vous nous indiquez que ce rendez-vous a permis de renouer le dialogue et d’instaurer une démarche de concertation en mettant en place de nouveaux groupes de travail.

En réalité la ministre de la Justice continue d’alterner les concertations, pour la forme, et les dissimulations au moyen d’ordonnances et de décrets, qu’elle se refuse à produire soutenant à certains qu’ils n’existeraient pas encore alors qu’elle affirme aux autres qu’ils seront finalisés en juin et applicables en septembre prochain.

Or l’étude d’impact du 19 avril 2018 révèle que la plupart des dispositions de la réforme, notamment celles concernant la procédure civile telles que : la généralisation de la médiation obligatoire, la déjudiciarisation par la généralisation des plateformes, l’expérimentation des procédures de révisions des pensions alimentaires par la CAF, la création d’une juridiction nationale dématérialisée de traitement des IP ou encore la spécialisation des juridictions, feront l’objet de décrets.

Lors de l’assemblée générale du CNB qui s’est tenue le 4 mai dernier, nos élus vous ont fait part de leurs inquiétudes qui sont partagées par de nombreux confrères. En effet, malgré notre mobilisation, la ministre continue de se refuser à toute transparence et à instaurer un véritable climat de confiance et de respect des professionnels de justice, lequel impose que nous puissions connaître les projets de texte et les orientations contenues dans ceux-ci avant d’être reçus.

http://lesaf.org/lettre-ouverte-a-madame-la-presidente-du-conseil-national-des-barreaux/

http://www.regards.fr/la-midinale/article/francois-de-castro-la-reforme-de-la-justice-va-mecaniquement-augmenter-une

https://rcf.fr/actualite/reforme-de-la-justice-le-projet-de-fusion-des-tribunaux-d-instance

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/bourgogne-franche-comte/yonne/bourgogne-nicole-belloubet-visite-yonne-1475787.html

https://theconversation.com/carte-judiciaire-les-lecons-de-la-reforme-des-prudhommes-en-2008-95826

http://www.lejsl.com/edition-de-chalon/2018/05/12/nicole-belloubet-garde-des-sceaux-ministre-de-la-justice-annoncee-vendredi-a-chalon

https://www.petitesaffiches.fr/actualites,069/droit,044/barreau-de-grasse-l-arme-au-pied,12280.html

https://www.dalloz-actualite.fr/flash/projet-de-loi-et-budget-de-justice-syndicats-de-greffiers-interpellent-chancellerie#.Wvsd-hk6_xN

India: Jamnagar lawyer’s murder plotted in Dubai, two held

May 15, 2018

The Ahmedabad crime branch on Monday arrested two persons from Mumbai who had allegedly conspired together to murder Jamnagar’s prominent lawyer Kirit Joshi on April 28.
Joshi was stabbed to death by two persons outside his office in Jamnagar on the evening of April 28 on the Town Hall Road. He was attacked in full public view by the motorcycle-borne assailants who repeatedly stabbed him when he came out of his office.

Crime branch sleuths nabbed Simon Louis Devendan (42), resident of Vasai east and Ajay Mohanprakash Mehta (38), a resident of Andheri west.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/jamnagar-lawyers-murder-plotted-in-dubai-two-held/articleshow/64164315.cms

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/murder-of-jamnagar-lawyer-was-plotted-in-dubai-say-cops/articleshow/64166916.cms

https://www.nyoooz.com/news/ahmedabad/1111741/jamnagar-lawyers-murder-plotted-in-dubai-cops/

Murder of Jamnagar Lawyer: Two held from Mumbai for planning lawyer’s murder for Rs 50 lakh

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/sketch-of-suspect-made-public-in-advocate-kirit-joshi-murder-case/articleshow/64121504.cms

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/abu-hotelier-held-for-lawyers-murder/articleshow/64498624.cms

 

Turkey: Journalist’s lawyer Veysel Ok prosecuted

May 11, 2018

map

On 9 May 2018, renowned media lawyer Veysel Ok appeared before the 37th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul for allegedly openly insulting the Turkish justice system in a newspaper interview. The reporter who conducted the interview, Cihan Acar, is also a defendant in the same trial.

Veysel Ok is a leading free speech and press rights advocate known for his defence of journalists rights. He is also co-founder of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA). He has been working in the field of freedom of press for more than a decade and has defended some of Turkey’s most well-known journalists alongside Die Weltcorrespondent Deniz Yücel.

On 26 December 2015 in an interview with newspaper Özgür DüsünceOk expressed his views on the independence of the Turkish judiciary. More specifically, we understand that he stated the following: “Previously, judges could hold varying opinions. There was a possibility of being tried by judges who valued freedoms. But now all members of the judiciary come in a single colour. We see the judges serving at the Criminal Judgeships of Peace. They are deaf to defense statements or objections. Where the loyalties of these judges lie is clear. Nothing changes the result, because the decisions are pre-ordered. Either, those in power give orders to the judicial authorities before the investigation, or attack the defendant via the government press.”

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13296/turkey-journalists-lawyer-veysel-ok-prosecuted/

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/free-speech-lawyer-veysel-ok-trial-criticizing-turkish-judiciary

The Philippines: Lawyers hold rally vs Sereno ouster

May 15, 2018

Lawyers held a rally in front of the Supreme Court Tuesday to protest the May 11 decision of the majority of its magistrates to oust Ma. Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.

Dissenting with the decision, lawyers led by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers said Sereno’s ouster through the quo warranto petition is unconstitutional.

In a statement, NUPL said the “erroneous” and “shortcut” petition has far reaching effects as it slays judicial independence.

“Our democracy is in peril. Monopoly of power in the Executive without checks and balance is practically complete,” the NUPL said.

The group earlier said Sereno should have been subjected to an impeachment trial in the Senate as an impeachable official, blaming the Rodrigo Duterte government for the chief magistrate’s ouster.

“Dissent even in traditional forms are shot down. Those who stand in the way of government policy and fancy are waylaid,” NUPL said.

https://kodao.org/2018/05/15/lawyers-hold-rally-vs-sereno-ouster/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/202545-sereno-ouster-quo-warranto-swing-votes

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/15/1815425/sereno-supporters-urge-senate-assert-power-over-impeachable-officials

https://www.untvweb.com/news/duterte-skips-barangay-polls-for-purely-political-reasons/

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1743248/Bacolod/Local-News/Duterte-may-visit-Negros-Occidental-on-May-20

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/national/sereno-to-file-a-motion-for-reconsideration/ar-AAxghsv?li=AAb280R

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/15/1815437/sereno-may-face-disbarment-public-remarks-against-sc

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/philippine-congress-asked-reject-chief-justices-ouster-55168257

https://www.wral.com/philippine-congress-asked-to-reject-chief-justice-s-ouster/17554656/

Philippine Congress asked to reject chief justice’s ouster

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/653414/lawyers-rsquo-groups-troop-to-sc-to-condemn-sereno-ouster/story/?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=news

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/990952/look-coalition-for-justice-stages-symbolic-protest-over-serenos-ouster

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/05/14/justice-for-sereno-justice-for-all/

http://bulatlat.com/main/2018/05/15/lawyers-hold-rally-vs-sereno-ouster/

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/991121/lawyers-say-only-congress-can-remove-impeachable-officials/amp

https://www.projectjurisprudence.com/2018/05/decency-and-dissent-national-lawyers.html

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/16/18/sc-justices-who-backed-quo-warranto-risk-impeachment-says-charter-framer

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/16/1815743/chr-sereno-ouster-ruling-diminished-our-democracy

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/653553/bam-aquino-resolution-vs-sc-s-quo-warranto-ruling-making-rounds-in-senate/story/

https://opinion.inquirer.net/113238/i-dissent

http://bulatlat.com/main/2018/05/20/not-just-sereno/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Lourdes_Sereno

https://rmn.ph/quo-warranto-petition-impeachment-complaint-laban-kay-dating-cj-sereno-posibleng-umabot-pa-hanggang-sa-sona-ng-pangulo-sa-hulyo/ (TAGALOG)

https://rmn.ph/huwag-ipilit-constitutional-crisis-posibleng-mangyari-kapag-ipinilit-ng-kongreso-ang-impeachment-proceedings-kay-cj-sereno/ (TAGALOG)

‪#‎fightforjudicialindependence‬

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15 May 2018
Press Release
Decency and Dissent

In a show of solidarity and indignation, lawyers, law students and different law groups marched to the Supreme Court today to oppose the continuing attacks against judicial independence and to express dissent on what they call as an evident and brazen pattern of an impending authoritarianism.

“The legal community has spoken : we express our strongest opposition against the ouster of the Chief Justice through a Quo Warranto proceeding not only because it is legally erroneous and unconstitutional, but more importantly, because it practically decapitated the judiciary and sent a chilling effect. Obviously, the decision has laid the predicate for authoritarianism as it completes concentration of power in the Executive. Attacks against judicial independence and the rule of justice place our democracy in peril,” National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary-General Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez, said in a statement.

The NUPL encouraged all members of the legal profession, law students, and court workers to stand up and rise against this de facto dictatorship.

“We are calling on members of the legal profession, law students, and court workers to make our voices heard even outside the courtroom and seek constitutional redemption from those that undermine our supposed democratic institutions,” Atty. Cortez added. ###

References:

Edre U. Olalia
NUPL President
+639175113373

Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General
+639175465798

(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook)

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Turkey/Greece: Lawyers’ involvement in migrant smuggling racket being probed

May 14, 2018

migrants

Judicial authorities in northern Greece are investigating the involvement of local lawyers in rackets smuggling migrants and refugees across Greece’s Evros River border from Turkey.

The file is currently in the hands of Thrace Appeals Court prosecutor Giorgos Siopis, who is summoning lawyers from the cities of Alexandroupoli and Oresteiada, but also from Thessaloniki and Athens, who have been accused of working with rackets or individual smugglers organizing illegal transfers from Turkey into Greece.

The judicial authorities are keeping quiet about the details of the questioning the lawyers will face, but sources have suggested that the probe is focused on at least six cases where it is believed large amounts of money were accepted to facilitate illegal entry.

It is also expected to bring more cases to light, given that such activities have been going on for years in the Evros region.

The involvement of lawyers throughout the transportation and “legalization” of undocumented migrants is something border guards in the area have known about for some time.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/228601/article/ekathimerini/news/lawyers-involvement-in-migrant-smuggling-racket-being-probed

https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2018/05/10/humanitarian-workers-acquited-helping-refugees

http://www.dsa.gr/ (GREEK)

China: War on Human Rights Lawyers Continues: Up to 16 More Lawyers in China Face Disbarment or Inability to Practice

May 14, 2018

disbarment, collage 1

Following the ‘709 crackdown’ — a large-scale attack against human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015 — China has continued to target this small group (about 0.1% of China’s 300,000 lawyers) who have taken on cases to defend basic human rights and other forms of social injustice. While torture and imprisonment have failed to cowe them, the government is now resorting to simple disbarment, or more subtle techniques, like preventing them from getting work so as to force their licenses to lapse, in order to take human rights lawyers off the field. The government regards this group of lawyers and those they defend a threat to communist rule; their determination to eliminate them is meeting with success, and the onslaught appears likely to continue and deepen.

China Change has reported several recent cases of disbarment, such as that of Sui Muqing (隋牧青) and Zhu Shengwu (祝圣武). The following is an overview of 17 more cases of lawyers who are facing imminent disbarment or forms of harassment that prevent them from practicing law.

This campaign to remove lawyers who defend human rights, or any lawyer who is outspoken or rejects governmental control through the Lawyers’ Associations, appears to be deliberate, coordinated and sweeping. As we prepare the following list, more cases of threatened disbarment have continued to emerge; we will keep our readers updated.

Meanwhile, we are reminded by lawyers we correspond with that many human rights lawyers who face neither disbarment nor inability to practice also face increasing obstacles to doing their jobs: the justice bureaus have demanded that lawyers must report to the bureaus the cases they take on; recent news says that judicial bureaus want to implement a ‘grid-style’ control system over lawyers; Party cells are being set up in law firms; and lawyers are required to disclose to the judicial bureaus their religious beliefs, social media accounts, and other personal information.

As the authorities set about their rectification campaign against rights lawyers and strip them of their right to practice law, plaintiffs in human rights-related cases are having a difficult time finding defense attorneys, a circumstance that is likely to get worse as time goes on.

War on Human Rights Lawyers Continues: Up to 16 More Lawyers in China Face Disbarment or Inability to Practice