Tag Archives: CCBE

The Philippines/USA: New York City Bar Association condemns attack on Cebu lawyer

24/09/22

The group urges the new government ‘to take all measures necessary to ensure that legal professionals are able to fulfill their professional obligations safely and without impediment’

The New York City Bar Association (NYCBA) has condemned the attempted assassination of Cebu Port Authority lawyer Karen Quiñanola-Gonzales.

“The New York City Bar Association joins the international community in condemning the attempted assassination of Karen Quiñanola-Gonzales and fears that it may be a harbinger of things to come,” the NYCBA said in a statement.

“As the CHR’s reference to ‘the continuing violence against legal professionals’ indicates, the recent attempt on the life of Quiñanola-Gonzales is by no means an isolated instance,” it added, noting the number of killings of members of the legal profession in the country during the administration of Rodrigo Duterte.

Gonzales and her son, Keith Gonzales, were driving near Hernan Cortes Street in Barangay Tipolo when they were ambushed by motorcycle-riding men.

Mandaue City police have identified the gunman behind the attack as 42-year-old swimming instructor Richard Basalo Delibo.

Lieutenant Colonel Franco Rudolf Oriol, deputy city director for operations of the Mandaue City Police Office, said they filed a complaint for two counts of frustrated murder against Delibo with the City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, September 16.

[…]

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/attempted-assassination-of-philippine-lawyer-karen-quinanola-gonzales

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/topstories/nation/844042/ibp-calls-for-protection-of-lawyer-son-after-cebu-attack/story/

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/03/22/nupl-urges-swift-probe-on-lawyers-ambush-in-cebu

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/09/12/philippines-strong-un-rights-council-action-needed

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/09/philippines-un-human-rights-report-looks-new-administration-progress

European Lawyers’ Day 2022 is on 25 October

14/09/22

European Lawyers’ Day (ELD) 2022 takes place on 25 October, as part of the European Day of Justice.

It celebrates the common values of lawyers, and their intrinsic role in the defence and promotion of the rule of law, as well as their contribution to the justice system.

Run by the CCBE since 2014, the goal of ELD is to promote the rule of law, and the lawyer’s role in upholding legal principles for citizens.

Law in times of war

Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February, the theme selected this year is ‘Making the law prevail in times of war – the role of lawyers’.

Lawyers play an important role in the context of war by assisting people fleeing conflict and in search of haven, the CCBE says.

European Lawyers’ Day amplifies the various initiatives taken by Bars and Law Societies, as well as lawyers and law firms, in reaction to humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts.

ELD also recognises how lawyers safeguard individual human rights, and how they represent victims of war in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Information on events to mark the day will be available on the CCBE website.

The chair of the CCBE Criminal Law Committee Ondrej Laciak has also written an article entitled ‘Lawyers upholding justice in times of war’, to mark this year’s event.

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/september/european-lawyers-day-2022-takes-place-on-25-october

https://www.coe.int/en/web/cepej/events/european-day-of-justice

Verdict delayed as ailing Chinese rights lawyer refuses to ‘confess’, plead guilty

08/09/22

Li Yuhan is thought to have been targeted for defending prominent rights lawyer Wang Yu during a 2015 crackdown.

Since Chinese human rights lawyer Li Yuhan stood trial in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning in October 2021 for “fraud” and “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a charge often used to target peaceful critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), there has been scant news of her fate.

There were concerns over Li’s worsening health at the time of Li’s trial at the Heping District People’s Court in Shenyang, provincial capital of Liaoning, while diplomats were denied permission to attend the trial.

But since the trial concluded, nearly a year has passed with no verdict or sentence being made public, her lawyer told RFA in a recent interview.

“They haven’t issued a verdict,” the lawyer said. “Her family and I have contacted the presiding judge many times, and the response we got is ‘we have to wait for the higher-ups [to decide]’.”

“They didn’t give a clear opinion, so they clearly didn’t dare to convict, so they have just kept on dragging their feet,” he said, adding that he has no reason to disbelieve this explanation.

“I don’t think the judge lied … because they will always want to close a case as soon as possible,” he said.

Li is widely believed to have been targeted for her defense of prominent rights lawyer Wang Yu, who was among the first people to be detained in a nationwide operation targeting rights lawyers and activists in July 2015.

Wang said the delay is likely because the authorities are trying to elicit a “confession” from Li.

“The reason why she can’t be sentenced is that the public prosecutor is still trying to force her to confess, and plead guilty,” Wang told RFA.

[…]

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/li-yuhan-09082022102635.html

https://ipkmedia.com/159748/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/woman-human-rights-defender-and-lawyer-li-yuhans-health-deteriorates-under-prolonged-detention

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyer-trial-10202021132238.html

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-house-arrest-xi-jingping-china/

Ukraine/Canada: From Kyiv to Ottawa: Olha Chernovol finds a new academic home

06/09/22

At the beginning of 2022, Olha Chernovol was a practicing lawyer in Ukraine, working at both COSA LLC as a Project Coordinator, and at an NGO – Transparent Democracy – as an Executive Director. Her time was spent dealing with a variety of projects related to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 changed her life and career plans.

While the invasion has upended the lives of countless individuals, Dr. Chernovol’s example is one of perseverance and resilience. She decided, in short order, to leave her motherland in March. Despite the tumultuous nature of her exit, she quickly made plans to continue pursuing her life’s work by taking up a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, under the sponsorship of a leading expert in the fields of organizational criminal liability, and corporate accountability, Dr. Jennifer Quaid. The nature of Dr. Quaid’s work on anti-corruption and economic crime made this a perfect fit for Dr. Chernovol, whose experience with Transparent Democracy brings a valuable real-world perspective to Dr. Quaid’s research.

While the two researchers’ decision to work together was made easily, plans to bring Dr. Chernovol to Canada from Germany, where she was a refugee with little in the way of possessions or official documentation, would take a little longer. Fortunately, the pair was able to meet in person in Europe in the interim. Dr. Quaid, who was attending a workshop in Greece in late May organized for members of the Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholarsnorth_eastexternal link, invited Dr. Chernovol to join her. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Chernovol was able to leave for Canada. After all the hurdles and emotional upheavals of 3 months alone in Europe, Dr. Chernovol has now found a new academic home for 2022 and 2023 at uOttawa’s dynamic Faculty of Law.

[…]

https://www2.uottawa.ca/faculty-law/civil-law/news/kyiv-ottawa-olha-chernovol-finds-new-academic-home-fauteux-hall

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/ukraine/

https://www.midilibre.fr/2022/08/24/nadia-avocate-ukrainienne-refugiee-a-sete-chaque-matin-je-regarde-si-ma-maison-a-ete-bombardee-10501933.php (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/08/24/ukraine-plus-de-29-000-crimes-de-guerre-presumes-signales-depuis-le-debut-de-l-invasion-russe_6138830_3210.html

Council of Europe: Protection of lawyers : progress made for the elaboration of a draft convention

26/07/22

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers (CJ-AV) held its second meeting in Strasbourg from 11 to 13 July 2022, in which representatives of the Member States and relevant international professional organisations participated.

The CJ-AV Committee continued its work on a future legal instrument aimed at strengthening the protection of the legal profession and the right to practice the profession without prejudice or coercion. It examined the first draft legal instrument and its provisions, and discussed at length all the issues to be covered in order to develop a robust instrument, providing strong and effective protection to lawyers in the exercise of their profession.

The CJ-AV held a fruitful exchange of views with the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr García-Sayán, who spoke about the importance of the preparation of the new legal instrument at the backdrop of a global increase in practices that undermine, limit, restrict and hinder the work of lawyers, particularly of those whose activities are focused on the fight against corruption, the defense of human rights or the protection of vulnerable groups. The Special Rapporteur expressed his full support to the work of the CJ-AV and draw the committee’s attention to the possible global impact that such a convention would have beyond Europe, underlining the possibility and desirability of offering a stronger protection to lawyers worldwide.

[…]

https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/newsroom/-/asset_publisher/tmYzZ9iB8dRW/content/protection-of-lawyers-progress-made-for-the-elaboration-of-a-draft-convention-by-the-council-of-euro-1

https://www.coe.int/en/web/cdcj/cj-av

https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/basic-principles-role-lawyers

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/european-convention-on-the-profession-of-lawyer/

https://www.coe.int/fr/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/newsroom/-/asset_publisher/tmYzZ9iB8dRW/content/protection-of-lawyers-progress-made-for-the-elaboration-of-a-draft-convention-by-the-council-of-euro-1 (FRANCAIS)

UN Human Rights Council: Self-governing professional bodies key to rule of law

04/07/22

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) participated in the recent 50th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán presented his report on the free and independent exercise of the legal profession. 

The CCBE says that the report is important and positive for the legal profession in its emphasis on states taking all necessary measures so that lawyers may exercise their legitimate professional rights and duties free from all restrictions, and without fear of reprisals – including judicial harassment.

Measures

García-Sayán, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, recommends that states should implement measures to prevent the identification of lawyers with their clients or the causes they defend.

The Special Rapporteur also stresses the importance of Bars and Law Societies remaining independent and self-governing, to protect the independence and the integrity of lawyers, as well as safeguarding their professional interests.

On the ongoing work of the Council of Europe on an international legal instrument to protect the legal profession, the Special Rapporteur supports the adoption of a binding instrument that is open to accession by non-member states of the Council of Europe.

The Special Rapporteur also thanked the CCBE (pictured) for its work on the report, praising it for “defence of defenders”.

Binding legal instrument

He ended by appealing again to the Council of Europe member states to support the adoption of a binding legal instrument on the protection of the free and independent exercise of the legal profession that is open to accession by non-member states of the Council of Europe.

The report emphasises that the free exercise of the legal profession is an indispensable element of the judicial guarantees that ensure a fair trial and the protection of human rights.

[…]

Undue restrictions

States have a duty to guarantee that lawyers can exercise their profession without undue restrictions. 

The report concludes with recommendations on how to protect those practising law.

Restrictions on the work of lawyers have increased as a result of the measures adopted by the states in response to coronavirus, the report points out.

Between 2010 and 2020, more than 2,500 lawyers were killed, detained or kidnapped in different regions of the world, the report adds.

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/self-governing-professional-bodies-key-to-rule-of-law

Turkey/European Court of Human Rights: TAKE ACTION AND JOIN OUR DEMONSTRATION TODAY!

16/06/22

Take Action!

Demonstration

“Where is the European Court of Human Rights when it is needed most?!”

24th June 2022 10:30am

Join us to stand in solidarity with hundreds of thousands, who have been silenced by the Erdogan Regime  and remind the the European Court of Human Rights of its duties by raising your voice in front of the ECHR and ask these Questions.

24th of June 2022

Strasbourg/ France

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) turns a blind eye to the gross State Crimes committed by the Erdoğan regime in Turkey and idly watches as it chokes on the victims on a daily basis.

The Court has had several opportunities to establish the facts regarding these violations in Turkey and compel the regime to respect the basic tenets of European Convention of Human Rights. However, it failed in the execution of its duties and rendered incompetent especially regarding the systemic violations of the rights of Hizmet Movement affiliates. As the victims amount up to hundreds of thousands the violations constitute clear crimes against humanity.

In recognition of that, we, a broad variety of people from all over Europe, will stand in solidarity with the victims and remind the ECHR that fundamental rights belong to every human being regardless of their identity!

https://www.europeanlawinstitute.eu/projects-publications/completed-projects-old/case-overload/

https://academic.oup.com/jhrp/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jhuman/huac019/6590084

https://www.routledge.com/Court-Delay-and-Human-Rights-Remedies-Enforcing-the-Right-to-a-Fair-Hearing/Savvidis/p/book/9781138606548

https://echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

https://balkaninsight.com/2022/06/23/council-of-europe-rates-turkeys-progress-on-reforms-unsatisfactory/

Belarusian Pensioner Sentenced To 42 Months In Prison For Criticizing Lukashenka

17/06/22

A 65-year-old political activist in Belarus has been handed a 42-month prison term on charges of discrediting the nation and slandering its authoritarian ruler, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, as the government continues its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent.

Alena Hnauk was sentenced on June 17 by the Pruzhany district court in the western region of Brest, her relatives said.

Hnauk, a former lawyer, has been detained and charged with anti-government activities several times since nationwide protests erupted in August 2020 following a presidential vote that opposition leaders say was rigged in favor of Lukashenka.

The 67-year-old strongman has ruled Belarus since 1994.

Hnauk’s charges stem from her online posts criticizing a migrant crisis triggered by Lukashenka along the Belarusian border with Poland and Lithuania last year.

After his nation was hit with tough European sanctions for its crackdown on peaceful protesters, Lukashenka retaliated by forcing thousands of migrants — largely from the Middle East — to the EU border.

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-activist-sentenced-42-months-prison-lukashenka/31903148.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-death-penalty-dissidents/31858264.html

Letter to Thai authorities on disbarment proceedings against Anon Nampha

16/06/22

In a joint letter, Lawyers for Lawyers and The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) expressed concerns about the disbarment proceedings against lawyer and human rights defender Mr. Anon Nampha.

Lawyers for Lawyers and the CCBE are concerned about the disbarment proceeding against Mr. Anon Nampha, a lawyer and human rights defender, that is taking place before the Investigative Committee that was established by the Committee on Professional Ethics of the Lawyers Council of Thailand during the Meeting No. 1/2564 on 13 January 2021.

We were informed that the proceeding against lawyer Anon Nampha is related to a complaint motion filed to the Lawyers Council of Thailand on 7 August 2020 by the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, who alleged that lawyer Anon Nampha’s behaviour violated the Lawyers Council of Thailand’s disciplinary rules as his behaviour would “incite, intend to cause unrest, distort information and insult on the monarchy”. The alleged speech in question apparently called for reform of the constitution and the monarchy, during a peaceful protest at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on 3 August 2020.

According to our information, a first pre-hearing was postponed twice on 24 November 2021 and 3 March 2022, due to the fact that Mr. Nampha was held in detention pending trial. Therefore, the first pre-hearing was scheduled for 7 April 2022 where both parties appeared before the Investigative Committee to schedule witness examination dates. The Committee scheduled the complainer witness examinations on 2 and 20 June and the complained witness examination on 18 July, 1 and 22 August, and 5 September 2022. However, on 2 June, the complainer failed to attend the first hearing taken place at the LCT. The proceeding therefore was adjourned until 20 June. After the witness examinations are completed, the Committee will schedule the date to deliver the order.

[…]

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

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(ESPANOL)
(ITALIANO)

Les avocats des 21 pays membres adoptent « l’Appel de Vienne »

15/06/22

Le 11 juin 2022, en marge de la Conférence des présidents et bâtonniers des barreaux d’Europe à Vienne, les avocats des 21 pays membres du Conseil de l’Europe, soit 35 organisations, ont adopté « l’Appel de Vienne ».

Dans cette déclaration, les avocats européens invitent notamment « les États membres du Conseil de l’Europe à prendre des engagements forts sur l’État de droit et l’indépendance de la justice dans le contexte de crise que traverse l’Europe », explique le Conseil national des barreaux, qui est à l’origine de cette initiative, dans un communiqué.

La déclaration traite également des dangers liés à la numérisation de la justice et à l’utilisation de l’intelligence artificielle, et à la nécessité pour la profession d’avocat de se saisir des enjeux de cybersécurité.

Elle propose en outre « d’intégrer une clause de sauvegarde du secret professionnel dans chaque instrument législatif européen susceptible d’avoir une incidence négative, même indirect sur ce secret », et « appelle à un renforcement des garanties en matière d’accès au droit personnes exilées ».

Enfin, elle émet le souhait que « les instances représentatives de la profession d’avocat, préoccupées par les générations futures, intègrent les instances européennes et internationales d’échanges sur les questions liées au droit de l’environnement ».

[…]

https://www.gazette-du-palais.fr/actualites-professionnelles/les-avocats-des-21-pays-membres-adoptent-lappel-de-vienne/