Daily Archives: 13/07/2021

Burma: Mandalay University law student sentenced to 3 years in jail






Egypt: The bar association… an active past, obedient present, and absent future


The 109-year-old Egyptian bar association was established in 1912. In this long journey of the bar association, for the major part of its history, the developments and setbacks in the state of public rights and freedoms is fully reflected. As an active part in the structure of the Egyptian civil society institutions, the bar association contributed and fought battles, was victorious, retreated, the authority was always present, either gently or by making a satisfying arrangement for it or by direct intervention. The goal was always to tame the bar association and make it one of the obedient institutions, even if this contradicted its original role in defending the rights and interests of its members.

The pre-1952 revolution stage

Since its inception, the bar association has been involved in one of its most important roles, in issues related to the country and to freedoms. During the 1919 revolution, the bar association was present, and it embraced the symbols of the 1919 revolution and announced its first strike in 1919 in protest against the exile of national leaders, and it was the first strike carried out by a union in Egypt.


  • Lawyers are paying a heavy price as a result of the absence of a professional union agenda, as:

– Replacing lawyers’ cases with manifestations of division, and replacing the lawyers’ unity on real union cases with daily jousting and mobilizing to support people without visions.

– Attacks on lawyers are on the rise, and so are the obstacles to their professional work.

  • Low union services and lack of real control over lawyers’ funds

– The disintegration of the sub-syndicates and making them mere small cantons with no vision or position

– Deliberate negligence when it comes to defending lawyers imprisoned in opinion cases or related to their right to freedom of expression or peaceful political action.


If this modest research paper may contribute to what is believed to be a professional and union agenda, then it points to:

1 – The need to limit the bar association’s register to freelance lawyers, and that lawyers in the public sector or in the business sector and public agencies and institutions should join the State Sector Authority or establish an independent union.

2 – That the bar association becomes in charge of its agenda by defining each year the number of accepted lawyers and the conditions for that in accordance with general, abstract rules.

3- Amalgamation of the sub-syndicates that have been fragmented, transferring services to them, and limiting the role of the general union to defending the profession’s policies.

4- Digitizing the bar’s work and linking the sub-syndicates with the general union and improving the quality and speed of services with simple and convenient electronic applications.

5- Making the defense of the independence of the judiciary one of the main priorities on the national level in the bar association.

6- Preparing a complete and independent register for lawyers working abroad that takes into account their interests and contributions to the bar association’s resources, and consequently the pension they deserve.

7- Restoring the national role of the bar association, which is related to the constitutional rights enshrined in the constitution, such as the rights to freedom of expression, the right to defense and other rights.


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Belarus: Another Critic Detained in Belarus on Undisclosed Charges


Tatiana Kouzina at a conference in 2019.

Authorities’ Treatment of Tatiana Kouzina Highlights Efforts to Muzzle, Disempower Lawyers

On July 8, a court in Minsk ordered Tatiana Kouzina, a prominent Belarusian researcher and policy analyst, be held in pretrial custody for two months.  

Security officials detained Kuzina at the Minsk airport on June 28, as she was going through passport control for her Georgia-bound flight. Her family had no information about her whereabouts until the next morning, when a law enforcement officer called to inform them Kouzina was being held at the city’s Okrestina detention center “as a suspect in a criminal investigation.” Kouzina’s lawyer saw her there later that day but was unable to clarify the nature of the investigation. After a court approved ten days’ detention, Kouzina was moved to Minsk’s remand prison, where she has remained since.

By now, Kouzina’s lawyer knows the charges against her, but he cannot disclose them because he was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

This may sound absurd, but it is typical in politically motivated criminal cases in Belarus. Courts hold hearings behind closed doors and force lawyers to sign nondisclosure agreements, prohibiting them from commenting on all matters related to the case, including the actual charges.

Since mass peaceful protests began last summer, authorities have jailed hundreds on politically motivated charges, with blatant disregard for their rights to liberty, to legal counsel, and a fair trial. Law enforcement took people into custody and interrogated them for hours without letting them contact their lawyers. Belarusian lawyers also reported that authorities prevented them from speaking to their clients confidentially and filmed their meetings with clients, sharing the footage with state-sponsored media outlets.

Lawyers who work on politically motivated cases face harassment and intimidation by the authorities. They are also targeted with criminal charges and biased inspections by the Qualification Commission on Advocacy Issues. At least 17 lawyers have been disbarred since October 2020, in retaliation for speaking out against human rights abuses, joining collective letters and petitions, and refusing to sign broad and vague nondisclosure agreements. The May 2021 amendments to the Law on Bar and Advocates stripped Belarusian lawyers of the last pretense that the state would respect their independence.






https://www.defenders.by/buro_indviv (BELARUSIAN)

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www.defendre.eu (FRANCAIS)

Lebanon/France: Khalaf aux magistrats : Unissons-nous pour faire trembler les responsables de nos malheurs


Khalaf aux magistrats : Unissons-nous pour faire trembler les responsables de nos malheurs

Des représentants de barreaux arabes et européens ont participé au « Jour de la solidarité » avec les avocats libanais.

« Magistrats du Liban, je vous lance un appel solennel, en prenant à témoin mes confrères du monde : assainissons nos relations, faisons trembler ceux qui sont responsables de nos malheurs. Tant que nous ne serons pas unis, ceux-là mêmes qui ont tué, pillé sans vergogne, qui se croient au-dessus des lois et pensent pouvoir échapper indéfiniment à la justice, gagneront, alors que le Liban perdra. » C’est un véritable cri d’alarme qu’a lancé hier le bâtonnier de Beyrouth, Melhem Khalaf, à une magistrature qu’il décrit « comme hautaine et soumise ».

Me Khalaf a tenu ces propos lors du Jour de solidarité internationale avec le barreau de Beyrouth, organisé par le conseil de l’ordre des avocats dans la salle des pas perdus du Palais de justice, avec la participation de Mohammad Mrad, bâtonnier de Tripoli, de 12 représentants de barreaux arabes et européens, notamment français, ainsi que de nombreux avocats. Le conseil de l’ordre croise le fer avec le corps de la magistrature depuis le 28 mai dernier. Ce jour-là, il avait décrété une grève après l’arrestation de l’avocat et activiste Rami Alleik, appréhendé avec violence en pleine rue pour avoir refusé de se présenter devant les services de renseignements des Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI), à la suite de la plainte déposée par le Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (CSM) pour outrage à la magistrature. Malgré le mouvement de contestation qui avait suivi, Me Alleik avait été détenu pendant plusieurs jours avant d’être libéré à la condition de ne pas exercer pendant deux mois. Considérant qu’il lui revient seul de prendre de telles mesures, le conseil de l’ordre avait poursuivi sa grève, à laquelle il n’a toujours pas mis un terme, pour exprimer son « ras-le-bol contre une violation des lois et un glissement vers l’État policier ». L’événement organisé hier s’inscrit dans le cadre plus large du « grand soulèvement » lancé par le conseil de l’ordre en même temps que la grève. Parmi les responsables des ordres étrangers à avoir répondu à cet appel, Dominique Attias, présidente de la fédération des barreaux d’Europe, Hélène Fontaine, présidente de la Conférence des bâtonniers de France et d’Outre-Mer, Jérôme Gavaudan, président du Conseil national des barreaux de France, Martin Pradel, membre du Conseil national des barreaux de France, Raja Attia, président de l’Union des avocats arabes et bâtonnier du barreau égyptien, Dhiyaa al-Saadi, bâtonnier de la République d’Irak, Marie-Aimée Peyron, vice-présidente du Conseil national des barreaux et qui représentait le barreau de Paris, Serge Deygas, bâtonnier de Lyon, Nicolas Bedel de Buzarengues, bâtonnier de Montpellier, Amine Faraj, membre du conseil de l’ordre de Montpellier, Vincent Maurel, représentant du bâtonnier des Hauts-de-Seine.