Tag Archives: Conseil national des Barreaux

Afghan judges and prosecutors who sentenced Taliban ask Spain for help


Zobaida Akbar worked in the General Prosecutor’s Office of Afghanistan until August 15, 2021. That day, the Taliban took over Kabul, and this prosecutor, who had handled hundreds of terrorism cases against radicals and local Daesh commanders, was forced to flee his home. “We went from our house to our relatives because they were looking for us,” he says. After suffering for several weeks, he managed to leave the country and reach Islamabad, Pakistan. She is one of 32 female lawyers for whom associations of judges and prosecutors have appealed to the Spanish government, who consider her situation critical.

In an open letter sent to Pedro Sánchez, the associations Judges and Judges for Democracy and the Progressive Union of Prosecutors regret that “the Spanish government is not responding to this humanitarian crisis in the way that is expected of our country.” In their letter, they recall that these women “had the right to accuse and condemn men, and this is anathema to the Taliban’s ideology” and that “for a very long time” they sought international protection at the Spanish Embassy in Islamabad. Answer.

Qudsia Sharif is one such woman. According to elDiario.es, seven months ago, he requested international protection from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the capital of Pakistan. This 28-year-old girl started her professional career in 2016 as a research lawyer in Ghor to eliminate violence against women. “At that time, I was the only woman working in justice in this province,” she explains. In 2018, she moved to Kabul to take up a position as a prosecutor, which led her to participate in around 40 trials against the Taliban, while also combining her gender research consulting work with international organizations.

“In August 2021, when the Afghan government collapsed due to the Taliban, the days of misery began, especially for women,” says Sharif. “Girls were first deprived of their right to education, protests were brutally suppressed, and protestors were arrested and tortured in prisons. Prosecutors and judges have been forced out of office and the judiciary is collapsing as cases are decided by fatwa [ley islámica]”, he explains from Islamabad. Organizations working to aid the group indicate that the Taliban have killed 26 prosecutors since taking over Kabul. “We’re trying to save our lives,” he says.

In an Amnesty International report, Published on July 27The organization agrees that “the Taliban violates the rights of women and girls to education, work and free movement; They destroy the projection and support system for those escaping gender-based domestic violence; arresting women and girls for minor violations of discriminatory rules; and contribute to the increase in the number of early and forced marriages in Afghanistan.” Additionally, the study’s findings echo what Sharifi expressed: “Women who peacefully protest these oppressive norms are threatened, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and subject to enforced disappearance.”

“Since the union of progressive prosecutors, we have spent a year in front of the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prove the extreme situation experienced by the group of judges, prosecutors and human rights defenders. For a rule of law like ours to work, there must be people who guarantee this public service. When the situation changes, as the Taliban seize power, it is a moral obligation to protect these people,” UPF President Ines Herrera defends.







https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/chute-de-kaboul-un-apres-que-pouvons-nous-faire (FRANCAIS)


Afghanistan dispatch: ‘female lawyers are at risk and there is a possibility of losing them’


Afghan law students and young lawyers in Afghanistan have been reporting on the ground since the Taliban took Kabul in August 2021. Here, a women lawyer in Kabul speaks on the plight of female lawyers still in the country. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our correspondent’s name. The text (translated from the original Persian) has only been lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

My name is [redacted], a female defense lawyer in Afghanistan, and I would like to give you a detailed explanation about the crisis of defense lawyers and the problems that have plagued women lawyers who are here. Since the Taliban took over the power of the government, all the work of female defense lawyers has become very difficult. They spend their days in their homes as alternatives to imprisonment or house arrest. My colleagues and I are facing thousands of threats. The Taliban destroy women as defenders of human rights and this is extremely horrible. Our voices are suffocated in our throats and no one in this world hears our voices. We are at home and we are changing our homes due to security threats. The life and limb of the defender is in danger. A couple of weeks ago I went to court twice and I gave free legal advice to women in harm’s ways and I helped them in the advancement of their files. I was threatened, but I still want to help.

The economy of female lawyers has collapsed. Poverty and deprivation are rampant.  Poverty has increased to the extreme for women lawyers. One day I had a toothache and I did not have money to go to the dentist, and my colleague’s child was sick and she did not have money to go to the doctor. Female lawyers want to study again and try to continue their education, but because that field is not favorable for them either under the Taliban they can’t even study.

The Taliban took over the independent bar association and that became a part of the Ministry of Justice, and now women lawyers are not allowed inside the Ministry. Only men are allowed. Women do not even have the right to retake the exams to be lawyers. They don’t test women, and they don’t allow them to work, so female lawyers are at risk and there is a possibility of losing them. Our mouths have been hit and our voices are suffocated in our throats and our mouths are closed and no one is willing to help us and no one hears our voices and there is the possibility of losing female lawyers in the future. If this occurs, a great deal will be lost and this loss will reach the whole world, because if these lawyers were refugees in other countries they could do a great service for those countries, but because they are in Afghanistan they will be lost. 






https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/chute-de-kaboul-un-apres-que-pouvons-nous-faire (FRANCAIS)



Afghanistan: One year after Taliban takeover, human rights defenders at greater risk than ever


One year since the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan, conditions for human rights defenders, especially women, have further deteriorated, the undersigned members of Protect Defenders.eu – said today. A year ago, when the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, they promised to respect human rights – including the rights of women and girls and media freedom. However, over the past year, they have carried out serious human rights violations and abuses, and sought to suppress civil society, media freedom, and any form of dissent with complete impunity.

Since 15 August 2021, we have witnessed the steady erosion of human rights gains in Afghanistan and attacks, reprisals, and a failure of any effective protection for human rights defenders in the country. Women and girls, religious and ethnic minorities, those speaking out against violations and for the protection of the rights of the most vulnerable, have been deliberately targeted. This is a pattern of violence that has been met with insufficient action from the international community. Human rights defenders who continue to work for their communities have been effectively abandoned and left without adequate support, access to resources, protection, and pathways to safety.   

Human rights defenders have faced near-daily attacks and violent reprisals including arrest, torture, threats and killings since the Taliban takeover. Escalating violence in the provinces has forced a large number of defenders to leave their homes and relocate and/or resettle. Human rights defenders, in particular women human rights defenders have been facing multiple risks and threats by the Taliban, including: kidnapping; arbitrary arrest and imprisonment; torture; physical and psychological harm; house searches; death and physical threats; intimidation and harassment; and violence against their family members. Women human rights defenders have also faced systematic oppression and segregation from public life. They have been stripped of their rights to work, freedom of movement, access to education, and to participate in public affairs. For those seeking to leave Afghanistan due to severe risk, safe and dignified pathways out of the country remain extremely difficult and challenging.

There has also been serious curtailment of freedom of expression and assembly. These freedoms are no longer legally and institutionally protected, and any form of dissent is met with arbitrary arrests and detention and enforced disappearance. Enforced disappearances of women, and arbitrary arrest of journalists and civil society activists are tactics adopted by the Taliban to silence voices that speak out.











https://www.hrw.org/ps/news/2022/08/11/afghanistan-talibans-catastrophic-year-rule (PASHTO)

https://www.hrw.org/gbz/news/2022/08/11/afghanistan-talibans-catastrophic-year-rule (DARI)

https://www.lemondedudroit.fr/institutions/83102-observatoire-international-avocats-danger-oiad-lance-campagne-soutien-plaidoyer-barreau-independant-afghanistan.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/es/news/2022/08/11/afghanistan-talibans-catastrophic-year-rule (ESPANOL)

‘Waiting for our death’: Afghan military lawyers beg Canada for help to escape


A former Canadian military legal officer says a group of Afghan lawyers and other staff who helped his mission in Afghanistan have been “left in the dark,” and is urging Canada’s Immigration Ministry to act quickly to help them escape the Taliban.

It’s been one year since Canada began accepting fleeing Afghans through its one-year special immigration program for Afghans who helped the Canadian government, set up a few weeks before Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021.

To date, roughly 17,170 Afghans have arrived in Canada. Last month, the Liberal government closed its immigration program to new applicants, less than halfway toward its goal of bringing 40,000 Afghans to Canada.

“If [Canada] would not act upon my request and as soon as possible, I could lose my life,” said Popal, one of the Afghan military prosecutors who applied for this program, and whom CBC has agreed not to identify.

“When Popal called me for help, it was very heart-wrenching,” said retired major Cory Moore, a former military legal officer with the Canadian Armed Forces who was deployed three times to Afghanistan.

Moore is helping 12 applicants and their families apply for this program, and is still waiting for word from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the fate of these 66 people. Their applications were filed between September and December 2021.

The group includes military prosecutors, criminal investigators, security staff, recruitment video participants, a doctor and a journalist. 

All 12 Afghans were involved in various capacities during Moore’s mission to help bolster the Afghan National Army’s legal branch. He created a project to recruit Afghan law grads, making a recruitment video which aired nationally from 2012 to 2021.

As a result, eight female military lawyers were hired as prosecutors and criminal investigators with the military, in what Moore calls a “historical precedent.”






https://news-24.fr/des-traducteurs-afghans-laisses-pour-compte-et-craignant-pour-leur-vie-apres-avoir-aide-les-forces-britanniques-a-poursuivre-le-gouvernement-britannique-nouvelles-du-royaume-uni/ (FRANCAIS)


https://www.fidh.org/es/region/asia/afganistan/afganistan-garantizar-la-justicia-a-un-ano-de-la-toma-del-poder-por?var_mode=calcul (PORTUGUES)

Canada: From Kabul to Calgary: An Afghan Law Student’s Dangerous Journey


Almost a year after the fall of Kabul, Shakira Yazdani arrived in Calgary, thanks to support from lawyers and a law professor. But she’s one of the lucky ones. Other Afghans at the law firm she worked at in Afghanistan are still in hiding, waiting to hear about their visa status.

Following a harrowing year that included the “most difficult” 24 hours of her life, Afghan law student Shakira Yazdani arrived in Canada on Canada Day to a rousing welcome from students at the University of Calgary Law School, where she will be studying to get her J.D.

Among the more than 100,000 Afghans who applied for evacuation as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, Yazdani is a lucky one. Thousands are still trapped and seeking legal advice, advocates say.

When the Taliban took over, Yazdani was studying law at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and working as a legal assistant with the law firm Shajjan & Associates, which provided legal services to the Canadian embassy in Kabul.

She and her parents attempted to leave Kabul after it fell to the Taliban, but their bus was turned back from the airport. It was another month before she was able to leave Afghanistan with a group of students—but not her parents—with permits organized by the U.S. embassy to study at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan.

The students were driven up to the Pakistan border, where they faced hours of questioning and where Yazdani said some were beaten by the Taliban before officials “miraculously” opened the gates for 10 minutes and let everyone cross.

She and the others “ran through” but she said they could barely walk once on the other side because of the blazing sun, 45C temperatures, and being fully covered except for her eyes. She said she and the group faced more roadblocks from Pakistani border officials, but were finally able to make it through. She was in Islamabad for three weeks before getting her visa to travel to Kyrgyzstan, where she finished her bachelor of law degree while applying for yet another visa—to Canada.

Yazdani’s connection with Shajjan & Associates should have meant that getting a Canadian visa would be relatively easy under the government’s special immigration program (SIM) for Afghans who assisted the Canadian government. A number of her colleagues applied last August and she and others applied less than a month later. 

“We never heard from [the government],” she said this week from her dorm room at the University of Calgary.

Saeeq Shajjan, founder and principal of Shajjan & Associates, fled Afghanistan and made it to Canada last September. He expected the other 28 lawyers and staff of his firm to soon follow, but 11 months on, they have not escaped or heard anything from the Canadian government.

They thought it would be “a matter of only a few weeks, but here we are, it’s almost one year since they applied and they are mostly in hiding,” afraid of being hunted by the Taliban for helping Canada, Shajjan said in an interview.








https://lactualite.com/actualites/un-an-plus-tard-les-conservateurs-denoncent-les-delais-pour-accueillir-des-afghans/ (FRANCAIS)



USA: University of Pittsburgh School of Law hosts Ukrainian lawyers


In late May, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law launched the Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project to serve as a resource for pro bono legal assistance from the United States and to train Ukrainian lawyers who plan to head back to the country to take the war to the courts.

This August, three Ukrainian lawyers sponsored by Pitt’s Center for International Legal Education (CILE), are planning to enroll in the international LL.M. program. These students will be assisted by global law firms, nongovernmental organizations and academic peers to provide advocacy and assistance regarding the legal issues arising from the war in Ukraine.

“There’s a web of interrelated laws, treaties and courts that will hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine,” said Charles Kotuby, executive director of CILE, which houses the Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project. “The process of rebuilding Ukraine is going to be an enormous undertaking and international law has a big role to play in that process.”

The goal, Kotuby said, is to help them escape the war and become future leaders in the process.

The Ukrainian lawyers will take classes alongside J.D. students and work on pro bono projects ranging from documenting human rights violations connected to Russia’s invasion to advancing legal reforms in their home country.

Kotuby collaborated with the Ukrainian Justice Alliance — a European coalition of lawyers, law firms and non-governmental organizations that is aiding the Ukrainian government and citizens on legal matters — throughout the process.

Pittsburgh is not the only U.S. law school hosting Ukrainian lawyers next year. The University of Miami School of Law and the University of Florida Levin College of Law have created scholarships for a Ukrainian law graduate to attend their LL.M. programs.



Three Tunisian judges dismissed by President start hunger strike


Three judges in Tunisia have staged a hunger strike in protest against President Kais Saied’s decision to sack 57 judges, including them, Anadolu News Agency reported.

This came in a statement read out on Wednesday by Hammadi Rahmani, one of the three striking judges, in the capital, Tunis.

The judges on hunger strike are Rahmani, Ramzi Bahria and Mohamed Taher Kanzari.

The judges demanded that all dismissed judges return to their posts and called for the opening of an administrative investigation into the circumstances that led to choosing the list of the sacked judges, with the aim of liquidating judges known for their independence, integrity and competence.

They also stressed on the need to “restore the constitutional path of the judiciary, adhere to the principle of separation of powers and stop interfering in the judiciary”.

Earlier on Wednesday, four former heads of the Tunisian Bar Association called, in a statement to President Saied, to reverse the dismissal decision, affirming their support for the judges in their protest movements “in defence of their independence”.

On Saturday, the Judges’ Association decided to extend their national strike for a third week in protest against Saied’s decision to sack dozens of them.

Saied dismissed 57 judges on 1 June, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists – charges that the Tunisian Judges’ Association said were mostly politically motivated.





https://www.aa.com.tr/fr/afrique/tunisie-les-magistrats-reconduisent-leur-gr%C3%A8ve-pour-la-4%C3%A8me-semaine-cons%C3%A9cutive/2623071 (FRANCAIS)


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


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 ».



Europe: European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) 98th Plenary meeting


The European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) held its 98th plenary meeting in Strasbourg from 1-3 June 2022.

During these three intensive and fruitfuil days, the CDCJ approved several reports and studies, notably the review of the implementation of the Sofia Action Plan on judicial independence and impartiality, and a comparative study on rights of donor-conceived persons to know their origins. The CDCJ also discussed the elaboration of a legal instrument aimed at strengthening the protection of the profession of lawyer and the right to practice the profession without prejudice or restraint and provided the orientations to the subordinate Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers (CJ-AV) with this regard. The CDCJ assessed the implementation by member states of the Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 on the protection of whistleblowers and Recommendation CM/Rec(2015)4 on preventing and resolving disputes on child relocation.

The CDCJ also reviewed the progress of the implementation of its activities envisaged in 2022, and planned activities for 2023, positively assessing the work done within the first 6 months in relation to the implementation of the decisions made at its last plenary meeting in December 2021 and the work of its two subordinate bodies. The CDCJ also decided to further pursue new activities in 2023 and 2024 – to provide guidance for the member states on issues related to the rights of donor conceived persons to know their origins, and to promote and assist the member States in the implementation of the European Convention on Information on Foreign Law (ETS No. 62) and its additional protocol (ETS No. 97).


https://www.coe.int/fr/web/cdcj/home/newsroom/-/asset_publisher/ixJBBhK1QgzB/content/cdcj-98th-plenary-meeting (FRANCAIS)



USA: University of Pittsburgh to help Ukrainian lawyers bring the war against Russia into the courtroom


Ukraine’s defense against Russia won’t just be a fight on the battlefield; the conflict will also come to blows in the courtroom. To help, the University of Pittsburgh is bringing about half a dozen Ukrainian lawyers and law students to Oakland to complete the school’s prestigious master’s degree in law.

Pitt’s School of Law launched the Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project in late May to serve as a resource for pro bono legal assistance from the United States and to train Ukrainian lawyers who plan to head back to the country to take the war to the courts.

“Modern warfare has moved to the courtroom, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought international law and international courts and tribunals into a new era of relevance,” a statement on the project’s website reads.

The students will learn how to engage in “lawfare,” the use of law by a country against its enemies, to hold Russia to account for its violations of international law. Charles Kotuby, executive director of Pitt’s Center for International Legal Education, said students will learn how to defend Ukraine and help rebuild it.

“Not only are we training them to be future leaders in their country, but we’re going to be doing real legal work,” he said. “They’re going to be helping their country on a variety of fronts during this war.”

Students will investigate claims of human rights violations and learn how to help Ukraine move forward to become a member of the European Union. That process will require lengthy negotiations and changes to Ukraine’s current legal system. Pitt will match students with global law firms and non-governmental organizations that focus on the legal issues arising from the war in Ukraine.


Pitt is currently helping its accepted students secure visas to come to the United States. According to Kotuby, as many as six students can enroll in the program. He said Pitt plans to seek financial support from Pittsburghers to help the Ukrainian students settle in the city for as long as two years while they study.

“Other students from France and Germany can afford to show up and rent an apartment in Shadyside and study law here. These students can’t,” he said. “This is the type of support that people in this community can really give and can make a massive difference. Not only in these students’ lives but in Ukraine as a whole.”




https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/guerre-en-ukraine-mise-en-oeuvre-des-sanctions-financieres-ciblees (FRANCAIS)

https://www.advokatsamfundet.dk/nyheder-medier/nyheder/2022/advokatsamfundet-tilbyder-hjaelp-til-ukrainske-advokater/ (DANISH)