Tag Archives: Barreau de Paris

The Russian invasion of Ukraine: what the international legal community can do to help


The webinar titled ‘The Russian invasion of Ukraine: How can the legal profession provide support to Ukraine?’ took place on 6 April 2022 and was expertly moderated by Joanna Weller of LexisNexis, who is also the Co-Chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum.

The IBA Law Firm Management Committee spearheaded the creation of this webinar as part two of the Russian invasion of Ukraine series and the recording is available here. Part one can be viewed here.

Wayne Jordash QC, Managing Partner at Global Rights Compliance, said that in the future, there will be a need for people who can provide on-the-ground support. ‘People who know their way around the battlefield and search for the ugly truth whenever possible will be needed.’ It will be essential for them to study the local laws. He warned audience members not to go at this alone, but to coordinate with local agencies. ‘You don’t want multiple people interviewing multiple witnesses,’ said Jordash. He stressed that this was not a short-term project and that the international community will need to focus on this for the long term.

‘Even in war, international law has its own rules, but not for Russia. They have even managed to create new kinds of crimes,’ said Anna Ogrenchuk, President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, based in Kyiv. She pointed out, ‘this is one of the challenges we as international lawyers have to face.’ Ogrenchuk remarked how grateful her group was for the support of the various bar associations and lawyers worldwide. However, she pointed out the difficulty and intricacies that will still need to be sorted out from a legal standpoint.

Wendy Betts is Director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, an initiative of the IBA. The organisation works with human rights defenders worldwide and has been working in Ukraine since 2017. Their efforts have been made possible through advances in technology, particularly cell phone usage, to record crimes and related volatile situations. As footage and metadata of this type needs to be verified in order to be used for legal purposes, they have developed an app that helps create footage that cannot be edited or deleted, keeping the integrity of the data and saving it in a closed system. The validity is closely maintained through a chain of custody backed by technology donated by LexisNexis.

Jörg Menzer of Noerr leads the firm’s Bucharest office and is Chair of the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI). He asked the group specifically what could be done by private practice lawyers and what they should consider as the next steps.








https://fr.zone-secure.net/109394/1553047/?fbclid=IwAR1oWhsLx8eH0i-_wa69MOkDv_KPk55RBVZgl8Ci0KNBDjBiZ_heHyc4i8c#page=3 (FRANCAIS)




Ukraine: Lidiya Izovitova took part in online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee


Ukrainian National Bar Association President Lidiya Izovitova took part in an online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee in Brussels. The event was joined by European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.

The speech of the UNBA/BCU President was devoted to the situation in Ukraine and the peculiarities of the bar operating under martial law.

Internal consolidation, reliable support from advocates’ self-government, which we try to provide to every advocate, as well as maintaining public trust in the Bar are extremely important for the Ukrainian legal profession at this time. The issue of human rights is currently one of the most pressing issues on the agenda for our entire country, for thousands of our citizens. The role of advocates in ensuring the entirety of human rights, the role in protecting human rights cannot be exaggerated,” said Lydia Izovitova.

It is a great responsibility for our entire community to ensure that the parameters of the rule of law in our country do not deteriorate,” said the UNBA President.

Currently, the justice system in Ukraine operates under wartime rules.

We are entrusted with the constitutional function of protecting the rights of citizens, and the right to protection, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, is not subject to restrictions even during martial law. We understand this responsibility to all citizens of Ukraine, and we understand the responsibility to the entire professional community of advocates, “said Lidiya Izovitova. At the same time, advocates do not refuse to provide free legal aid via Free Legal Aid system, in which the payment of fees began to be delayed due to the status of unprotected budget expenditures.

The UNBA President stressed that the self-governing organization of the bar should work continuously and effectively during martial law.

The great resources of our organization – financial, organizational, human, logistical – are now used to help citizens, lawyers and their families. For the sake of transparency of this process, we have created the UNBA Board of Trustees of, which collectively decides on the provision of charitable assistance from the account of the UNBA Charitable Foundation. At this time, we feel the great support of our international partners. We are extremely grateful to all those who supported Ukrainian advocates during this difficult time, “said the UNBA/BCU President to representatives of European lawyers and leaders of the CCBE.

UNBA offices representative offices abroad are involved in providing assistance to all victims of hostilities, providing legal assistance to Ukrainians who are now forced to leave Ukraine free of charge.

Together with the Chairs of the Bar Councils of the regions, UNBA supports the western region’s aid chain for advocates and their families traveling from areas under the Russian invasion. Bar Councils of the regions provide free legal aid to displaced persons, the military and volunteers, working pro bono on a round-the-clock basis.




https://unba.org.ua/news/7384-za-obstavin-voennogo-stanu-vazhlivo-zberegti-misiyu-advokats-koi-profesii-golova-naau-rau.html (UKRAINIAN)



http://www.fbe.org/ (FRANCAIS)


http://www.fbe.org/pagina-principal/ (ESPANOL)

http://www.fbe.org/pagina-iniziale/ (ITALIANO)

http://www.fbe.org/homepage/ (DEUTSCH)

Iran: Rights lawyers on trial for lawsuit against Supreme Leader over vaccine ban


The trial of five activists who had filed a lawsuit against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for “Covid mismanagement” was held behind closed doors Saturday.

The group of five, who were put on trial at Branch 29 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, has come to be called ‘Defenders of Right to Health’ by the media. They are: Mehdi Mahmoudian, Mostafa Nili, Arash Keykhosravi, Mohammadreza Faghihi and Maryam Fara-Afraz

Khamenei ruled out importing United States- and British-made Covid-19 vaccines in January 2021, arguing that the US and Uk cannot be trusted. At the time, the US-German Pfizer, US-made Moderna and the British-made AstraZeneca were the only vaccines approved internationally and available in early 2021.

The group’s litigation apparently sought to establish that decisions by Khamenei, former President Hassan Rouhani, and others led to thousands of unnecessary deaths when a severe wave of infections hit Iran from June to August 2021.

The members of the group were arrested on August 15 last year while holding a meeting to prepare legal action against authorities for mismanagement of the pandemic and delay in in mass vaccination. All, except Mahmoudain, were released after spending more than a month in solitary confinement.

In an unexpected move in early March, Iran’s Judiciary accepted to register the group’s lawsuit against the authorities, including Khamenei.

While Khamenei banned the Western vaccines, hundreds of millions of dollars were distributed among government-run companies with no experience in vaccine development to produce a homegrown variant.

The five activists have been charged with “acting against national security”, an often-used vague charge often brought against dissidents and critics of the Islamic Republic. They are accused of forming a “hostile group aiming to harm the country’s security and make propaganda against the state”.











https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/human-rights-defender-arash-keykhosravi-released-bail (FRANCAIS)

Ukraine: At least 3 lawyers killed in combat


On behalf of the Legal Community of Ukraine, on behalf of more than 65,000 Ukrainian advocates and personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to appeal to the commonwealth of European advocates and lawyers and speak here at the meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee.

Today, the attention of the whole world is focused on Ukraine. Since 24 February, military operations have been ongoing in our country. Every day people die – both military and volunteers, doctors, civilians, and children.

Dozens of advocates joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Unfortunately, we already have lost at least three of our colleagues – from the Vinnytsia and Kharkiv regions.

In the first hours of the military aggression, we had a scheduled meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine. Despite the sounds of explosions, we held it. Each regional representative was present, and I, as the President of the Bar Council of Ukraine, was in Kyiv as well.

On that day, we adopted a number of decisions, in particular recommending QDCBs not to consider it as a misconduct where advocates enlisted into military service had not suspended their right to practise, as required by law. Advocates have neither time nor the possibility to file for suspension of practice.

In the first hours of the military aggression, I called on all advocates to maintain trust and rely on state institutions, which jointly determine political, military and diplomatic steps to protect Ukraine and ensure the safety of its citizens.


Click to access EN_20220401_Speech-from-the-UNBA-President-at-CCBE-SC.pdf

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/law-society-webinar-on-war-in-ukraine (LAW SOCIETY OF IRELAND WEBINAR, APRIL 7th, 2:30pm)











https://unba.org.ua/ (UKRAINIAN)

https://www.actu-juridique.fr/international/international-etrangers/jerome-gavaudan-rappeler-la-protection-due-aux-refugies-est-dans-notre-adn/ (FRANCAIS)









Lawyers’ Day in Turkey: Hundreds of lawyers in jail


“We refuse to accept the 5th of April as a day for celebrations while hundreds of our colleagues are jailed over their professional activities,’ an official spokesperson of a lawyers’ association says on ‘Lawyers’ Day’ in Turkey.

Representatives of lawyers’ associations read out statements in Istanbul on Tuesday on the occasion of Lawyers’ Day in Turkey, stating that the 5 April cannot be a day of celebration while so many lawyers are incarcerated solely over their professional activities.

According to a report released in December 2021 by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, more than 1,600 lawyers were detained and prosecuted while 615 lawyers were under pre-trial arrest in Turkey since 2016. Subsequently, 474 lawyers were sentenced to a total prison term of 2,966 years in prison on the grounds of membership of an armed terrorist organisation, or of spreading terrorist propaganda.

Esra Erin, the co-chair of Free Lawyers’ Association’s Istanbul branch said:

“Hundreds of our colleagues are in jail solely due to their professional activities. We refuse to accept the 5th of April as a day for celebration while our imprisoned colleagues are not free and among us. We have been visiting them in prison. Through their determination to stand against injustices and to carry on with their work even in their prison cells, they have reminded us yet again that a lawyer does not perform only in the courthouse, and that this is a profession to be performed practically anywhere as a rights struggle.”

She continued:

“A lawyer’s title is not just something that we lawyers can be stripped of. We carry on the struggle of Fuat Erdoğan, Faik Candan, Şefik Epözdemir and Medet Serhat who were killed in the 1990s, of Tahir Elçi who was killed in 2015, of Ebru Timtik who went on hunger strike for the right to fair trial on 5 April 2020 and who lost her life on 27 August 2020.”


https://bizimtv.com.tr/guncel/avukatlar-avukatlar-gununde-istanbul-adliyesinde-bulustu-yuzlerce-meslektasimiz-ha-78503h (TURKCE)



Tunisia: Military Court Jails Prominent Lawyer


Suggests No Critic of President’s Power Grab is Safe

The jailing of a prominent lawyer on March 2, 2022, for arguing with police officers is an alarming new step in the confiscation of civil liberties since President Kais Saied seized extraordinary powers on July 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Abderrazak Kilani, a former government minister and head of the national bar association, is one of the most prominent Tunisians to be put behind bars for his peaceful expression since the ouster of the authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

A military court has charged Kilani, a civilian, in connection with a verbal exchange he had with security officers who were denying him access to a hospital on January 2. He was trying to visit a client who had been taken there while under a form of house arrest. During the exchange he criticized the president.

“After placing scores of critics under ‘assigned residence’ house arrest or banning their travel, tossing Abderrazak Kilani into Mornaguia Prison sends a chilling new message that no one who criticizes President Saied’s power grab is safe,” said Salsabil Chellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “

Kilani faces charges of “disturbing the public order,” “insulting public officials,” and “inciting [members of the security forces] by violence, assault, threats, or fraudulent practices to cease performing their individual or collective duties,” under articles 79, 125, and 136 of the penal code, Samir Dilou, one of his lawyers, told Human Rights Watch. The military court claims jurisdiction apparently because the speech in question was addressed to members of the security forces, Ridha Belhaj, another of his lawyers said. Kilani faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Kilani, 67, served as a deputy prime minister for relations with the Constituent Assembly from 2011 to 2013. He also has served as head of the bar association and as ambassador to the UN in Geneva. He is active in the Citizens against the Coup, an informal group of Tunisians who openly oppose Saied’s seizure of special powers.







https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2022/03/14/tunisie-un-tribunal-militaire-emprisonne-un-eminent-avocat (FRANCAIS)








Tunisie : Des organisations demandent la libération immédiate Me Abderrazak Kilani




L'avocate iranienne Nasrin Sotoudeh, chez elle, à Téhéran, le 18 septembre 2013, libérée après trois ans de prison

Nasrin Sotoudeh, militante pour les droits humains en Iran, avait été incarcérée en 2019, puis relâchée en 2020 pour des raisons de santé. Plusieurs avocats français demandent l’annulation de sa condamnation.

Cela fait maintenant plus de vingt-cinq ans qu’elle lutte pour les droits des femmes dans son pays. Après avoir été condamnée en 2019 à douze ans de prison et 148 coups de fouet pour “incitation à la débauche” en Iran, l’avocate et militante Nasrin Sotoudeh avait obtenu une permission de sortie en 2020 pour des raisons de santé. Elle serait sur le point d’y retourner, une situation que dénoncent plusieurs avocats français.

Julie Couturier, bâtonnier de Paris, a notamment déploré dans un tweet une condamnation injuste de l’avocate: “Nous nous insurgeons contre l’imminente incarcération de notre consœur Nasrin Sotoudeh, injustement condamnée et dont l’état de santé est particulièrement préoccupant”.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh serait susceptible d’être incarcére à nouveau alors qu’il n’y a aucune amélioration de son état de santé”, affirme quant à lui Jérôme Gavaudan, président du Conseil national des barreaux.



https://ir.voanews.com/a/nasrin-sotoudeh-saba-kordafshari/6402115.html (FARSI)




https://www.diariosur.es/internacional/latigazos-anos-carcel-20220116000727-ntvo.html (ESPANOL)

Brazil: Prison sentence of human rights defender José Vargas Sobrinho Junior upheld


On 13 December 2021, the assistant judge of the Criminal Court of Redenção, in the State of Pará, denied the request presented by the defence of the lawyer and human rights defender José Vargas Sobrinho Junior, deciding for the maintenance of the house arrest. In addition, an evidentiary hearing was scheduled for 25 March 2022.

José Vargas Sobrinho Junior is a human rights defender, university teacher and a human rights lawyer in Redenção, Pará. Vargas is well known for his work on important cases for the defence of human rights in Brazil, such as the victims of the Pau D’Arco massacre, landless workers against JBS and the Kayapó indigenous people against mining companies in Cumaru do Norte.

On 1 January 2021, he was arrested at his home in the municipality of Redenção, Pará, based on a criminal procedure characterized by high level of arbitrariness and weak evidence. It has been more than 11 months since the grassroots lawyer and human rights defender José Vargas Sobrinho Junior was detained. Since 25 January 2021, the human rights defender has been under house arrest.

Between 8 and 10 October 2021, Front Line Defenders conducted a solidarity visit to the lawyer. During the event, it was learned that the situation to which José Vargas Sobrinho Junior is subjected represents an obstacle to his work. By not having access to his telephone and work email, and by not being able to personally follow up on his clients’ cases, the human rights defender has been prevented from continuing his work in defence of human rights defenders. In June 2021, José Vargas Sobrinho Junior had to resign from acting as a lawyer in the Public Civil Action on behalf of the Kayapó indigenous people against the mining companies devastating their territory.



https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/pt/case/human-rights-lawyer-jose-vargas-sobrinho-junior-detained (PORTUGUES)


https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/human-rights-lawyer-jose-vargas-sobrinho-junior-detained (FRANCAIS)


France: Installation de Rémy Heitz : les relations entre avocats et magistrats en passe de se réchauffer ?


Installation de Rémy Heitz : les relations entre avocats et magistrats en passe de se réchauffer ?

Rémy Heitz a été installé dans ses fonctions de nouveau procureur général près la Cour d’appel de Paris ce lundi 27 septembre, en présence notamment du garde des sceaux Eric Dupond-Moretti et de l’ancienne ministre Nicole Belloubet.

Etrange ambiance au palais de la Cité, ce lundi 27 septembre. Alors que le procès des attentats du 13 novembre 2015 fait relâche le lundi, la cour d’appel a profité d’un allègement tout relatif de l’activité et du dispositif de sécurité pour organiser l’installation de Rémy Heitz à son nouveau poste de procureur général. Il occupait jusque-là les fonctions de procureur de Paris, poste où il avait succédé en novembre 2018 à François Molins. Dans ce palais à demi condamné et quasiment désert, les invités se pressaient dans la première chambre comme avant la crise sanitaire. Une ambiance nettement plus chaleureuse qu’à la dernière rentrée solennelle où quelques chaises éparses et placées à bonne distance les unes des autres accueillaient à peine 10% du public habituel.

« Entretenir l’esprit des états généraux de novembre 2019 »

On dit de Rémy Heitz qu’il mène sa carrière la vitesse de l’éclair. Cette nomination confirme un parcours qualifié par ses pairs d’exceptionnel

On dit aussi que c’est un homme doux et courtois. En cela, il tranche avec celle qui l’a précédé, Catherine Champrenault, dont la rigidité en particulier avec les avocats fut à l’origine des tensions autour de l’affaire Nioré, mais aussi des dissensions avec l’ancienne patronne du Parquet national financier Eliane Houlette qui ont éclaté au grand jour à l’occasion des auditions devant l’assemblée nationale menées par le député Ugo Bernalicis. Avant son départ le 30 juin dernier, Catherine Champrenault a fait appel de la décision de l’ordre de Paris blanchissant l’ancien délégué aux perquisitions des accusations qu’elle portait contre lui. Vincent Nioré  demeure à ce jour convoqué le 18 novembre prochain devant la cour.

Alors que la tension entre avocats et magistrats est encore montée d’un cran à la suite de l’affaire Sollacaro, le renoncement du nouveau Procureur général  aux poursuites contre celui qui sera le vice-bâtonnier de Paris à compter du 1erjanvier prochain constituerait un geste d’apaisement. Il serait d’autant plus bienvenu que le gouvernement a pour sa part renoncé aux poursuites contre le magistrat d’Aix-en-Provence qui avait expulsé Me Sollacaro manu militari de la salle d’audience puis jugé les prévenus sans leurs avocats. Quitte à effacer une ardoise, autant les effacer toutes. Le bâtonnier de Paris Olivier Cousi était présent à la cérémonie, de même que la future bâtonnière Julie Couturier, et les anciens bâtonniers de Paris Marie-Aimée Peyron et Pierre-Olivier Sur. Mais pas Vincent Nioré, dont on murmure qu’il n’aurait pas été invité.  Un regrettable oubli certainement. Rémy Heitz n’a abordé le sujet des tensions entre avocats et magistrats lors de son discours qu’indirectement en soulignant que tout le monde était en  quête « de sérénité, d’équilibre et de mesure ». Il a invité les professionnels de justice à se concentrer sur ce qui les rassemble, l’éthique et la déontologie, et à « entretenir l’esprit des états généraux de novembre 2019 ».  Ces derniers avaient été réunis à la suite de l’expulsion brutale par les forces de l’ordre d’une avocate hors du bureau d’une magistrate….Depuis lors, la situation ne s’est pas réellement améliorée.











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The Tajik Government’s Style Of Justice And Mercy


Buzurgmehr Yorov (file photo)

International rights watchdogs have long charged that the judiciary system in Tajikistan is often used to punish perceived enemies of the government.

There are, indeed, many cases in recent years to support those claims. And even when moved to gestures of mercy, the Tajik courts and state officials seem callous in their actions.

The following are some of the most egregious recent cases.

The Lawyer

Buzurgmehr Yorov is a Tajik attorney who was detained in late September 2015 and shortly thereafter sentenced to 28 years in prison.

In honor of Tajikistan marking 30 years of independence this year, an amnesty has been granted to some prisoners. Yorov had four years removed from his long sentence.

The 50-year-old attorney had a reputation for defending people who had little, if any, chance of proving their innocence in Tajik courts.

He defended members of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), a group that had been in a power-sharing agreement with President Emomali Rahmon’s government and was later seen by Rahmon as an impediment to his exerting greater control over the country.

Yorov also defended fellow lawyer Fakhriddin Zokirov, who was the attorney of businessman Zayd Saidov.

Saidov founded a new political party — Tajikistan Now — in April 2013 and was convicted in December that same year on charges of fraud, polygamy, and statutory rape, charges seen as politically motivated.

Zokirov was arrested in March 2014 on forgery charges and was held for eight months before he received an amnesty.

Saidov’s second lawyer, Shuhrat Kudratov, was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of fraud and bribery. His term was shortened after two rounds of amnesties.





https://www.avocatparis.org/actualites/tadjikistan-lavocat-defenseur-des-droits-de-lhomme-buzurgmehr-yorov-emprisonne (FRANCAIS)