Tag Archives: ICJ

Maldives: ICJ calls on the Supreme Court to revoke summary suspension of lawyers for urging judicial reform

September 27, 2017

In an open letter, the ICJ called on the Supreme Court of the Maldives and the Department of Judicial Administration to revoke the summary suspensions of dozens of lawyers in the country.

On 10 September 2017, the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA), the administrative arm of the Maldivian judiciary supervised directly by the Supreme Court, suspended 54 lawyers without due process.

Their suspension follows a petition by 56 lawyers (two of whom were already under suspension) that called for reforms to ensure independence of the judiciary.

The lawyers’ suspension, procedurally and substantively, is incompatible with international law and standards, said the ICJ.

https://www.icj.org/maldives-icj-calls-on-the-supreme-court-to-revoke-summary-suspension-of-lawyers-for-urging-judicial-reform/

https://raajje.mv/en/news/18489

https://raajje.mv/en/news/17897

http://dailynews.lk/2017/09/29/local/129783/basl-expresses-concern-over-maldives%E2%80%99-lawyer-intimidation

https://www.voanews.com/a/maldives-suspends-a-third-of-its-lawyers/4023492.html

http://en.mihaaru.com/maldives-suspends-54-lawyers-over-unlawful-petition/

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-wews170910.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/56-avocats-aux-maldives-sont-suspendus (FRANCAIS)

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Thailand/ICJ: End proceedings against lawyer Sirikan “June” Charoensiri

September 21, 2017

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ today urged Thailand to end criminal proceedings against lawyer Sirikan “June” Charoensiri, that are based on her professional activities as a human rights defender and lawyer.

The statement came during general debate at the Human Rights Council on, among other things, the report compiling cases of individual complaints that have been raised by the Special Procedures (independent experts) appointed by the Council. The statement read as follows:

“Among the many cases covered by the Communications Report of Special Procedures (A/HRC/36/25) is that of Thailand lawyer and human rights defender, Sirikan “June” Charoensiri. She was charged with sedition and other offences for actions taken, in her professional role, to protect human rights. With other lawyers, she had observed and provided legal assistance to participants in a peaceful protest.

In April, four Special Rapporteurs sent a joint communication (AL THA 2/2017) to Thailand about her case, and the related issues of restrictions on fundamental freedoms put in place following the military coup of May 2014, and prosecution of civilians in military courts.

Thailand’s response to the communication (No.52101/483) attempts to justify the charges against her by, among other things, appearing to associate her with the persons to which she and her colleagues were providing legal aid.

Principle 18 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers states that, “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.”

The International Commission of Jurists considers that the case against Ms Charoensiri is incompatible with these and other international human rights standards.

https://www.icj.org/thailand-end-proceedings-against-lawyer-sirikan-june-charoensiri/

Poland/L4L/CCBE/ICJ: HDIM 2017 Side event: Lawyers Need Legal Protections too

September 19, 2017

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Justice International (JI), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) worked together to bring a panel of experts, lawyers and human rights defenders to discuss the important role lawyers play while performing all of their professional functions in challenging conditions under intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference. –> http://bit.ly/2ffZJuq

The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2017 (HDIM)
“Lawyers Need Legal Protections too: Human Rights Lawyers Working in Challenging
Environments”

Warsaw National Stadium (PGE Narodowy), Aleja Poniatowskiego 1, GATE 1, 2nd floor
September 20, 2017, Room 1, 13:15-14:45

Refreshments will be provided

Panel Speakers: 

Maria Slazak  Moderator, Former President of CCBE
Temur Shakirov Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists
Olga Salamatova           Legal Expert, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
Anara Ibraeva Lawyer from Kazakhstan, Public Association “Dignity”
Nikolai Polozov Lawyer from the Russian Federation, working in Crimea
Farangis Zikriyaeva Lawyer from Tajikistan, Human Rights Matter
Ruslan Myatiev Human rights defender living in exile, Alternative Turkmenistan News
Dmitry Tihonov Human rights defender from Uzbekistan living in exile

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/12853/hdim-2017-side-event-lawyers-need-legal-protections-too/

UN/ICJ: UN Human Rights Council adopts resolutions on independence of judges & lawyers

June 22, 2017

The ICJ welcomes the adoption today, by consensus, of two UN Human Rights Council resolutions on the independence of judges & lawyers.

The Human Rights Council adopted the biannual resolution on independence of judges and lawyers, including a number of new elements on the theme of independence of lawyers and the legal profession. In particular, the resolution highlights the ongoing threats against and interference with the independence of lawyers and the ability of lawyers to fulfil their professional functions, including in relation to human rights.

The resolution reaffirms and builds on the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

The Human Rights Council also unanimously renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers for a further period of three years.

The unofficial text of the two resolutions are available in PDF format below:

https://www.icj.org/hrc35resolutionijl/

Pakistan: prominent Human Rights Defender Asma Jahangir threatened

June 22, 2017

Pakistani authorities need to ensure a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into a barrage of assaults and threats against lawyers in the premises of the Lahore High Court, the ICJ, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today.

The Government needs to defend the rule of law and prosecute those responsible for any criminal conduct.

On 20 June, during proceedings of a case involving the alleged abduction and subsequent “disappearance” of a 26-year old woman and her two-year old son, supporters of the accused, a prominent lawyer, physically assaulted the complainant’s counsel Shabbir Hussain and Usama Malik, and made abusive remarks and threats against another member of the complainant’s legal team, Noor Ejaz Chaudhry.

The attackers were mostly lawyers and members of the local bar association.

The attackers also made abusive and threatening remarks against Asma Jahangir (photo), a notable human rights lawyer, Honorary Commissioner of the ICJ, and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Asma Jahangir was not present in the court but was represented by her legal team comprising of Shabbir Hussain, Usama Malik, Mian Liaquat Ali and Noor Ejaz Chaudhry.

“The legal profession is one of the pillars of the administration of justice. It is deeply worrying that instead of discharging their responsibility to uphold the rule of law, certain lawyers would resort to threats and violence in a clear attempt to obstruct justice,” said Ian Seiderman, ICJ’s Legal and Policy Director.

https://www.icj.org/pakistan-prominent-human-rights-defender-asma-jahangir-threatened/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/22/pakistan-investigate-assault-lawyers

http://dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/22-Jun-17/dig-told-to-report-on-missing-woman-lawyer-by-june-30

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/06/22/lawyers-supporting-accused-murderer-attack-victims-lawyers-family/

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1440672/beaten-black-blue-lawyers-thrash-advocate-appearing-pbc-member/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1340862

https://www.samaa.tv/pakistan/2017/06/lhcba-lawyers-alleged-supporters-thrash-opposing-counsel-during-court-hearing-abuse-asma-jahangir/

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/06/22/hrcp-condemns-attack-on-asma-jahangirs-associates/

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1441419/misogyny-at-the-bar/

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/212329-Mocking-the-law

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/human-rights-lawyers-verbally-and-physically-abused-court

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/212596-Attack-on-lawyers-condemned

http://dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/24-Jun-17/former-scba-president-decries-attack-on-asmas-team

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

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/lawyers/asma-jahangir/

Turkey: judicial independence and freedom of expression

June 13, 2017

The ICJ welcomed today the Special Rapporteur’s report on Turkey and his preliminary findings on his visit to the country last November.

The ICJ welcomes and concurs with the finding that the “situation of the judiciary is undermining freedom of opinion and expression”.

Mass dismissals of judges have had a devastating effect on the judiciary’s independence, already weakened by the current state of emergency. Furthermore, we are concerned at the claim by the President that the state of emergency will remain in place until Turkey reaches “peace and prosperity”.  Whatever other questions there may be about their validity, maintaining emergency derogations to human rights law instruments for such an open-ended period would clearly not be in line with international law.

The ICJ is also concerned at the constitutional amendments approved on the 16th of April by a referendum. Among other things, the amendments have given powers to the President and the Parliament to appoint all the members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, the body tasked with protecting the independence of these professions.

https://www.icj.org/turkey-judicial-independence-and-freedom-of-expression/

Turkey/Azerbaijan/ICJ: Threats to independence of judges and lawyers; backsliding on violence against women (UN statements)

June 12, 2017

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ today highlighted judicial corruption and threats to judges and lawyers in Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as regressive steps on violence against women in the United States of America and Russian Federation.

The statement, delivered during the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers and the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, was as follows:

“The ICJ warmly welcomes the new Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers. As he has highlighted, ensuring judges are accountable for corruption and human rights violations, while respecting judicial independence, should be a global priority. Our Practitioners’ Guide on Judicial Accountability, published last year, should be of particular use to the Rapporteur and other actors in this regard.

Several situations serve as stark examples of other issues raised in his report. In Turkey, recent constitutional amendments give the President and Parliament control over the judiciary’s governing body. This has undermined the judiciary’s independence, already threatened by the mass dismissal of judges and the state of emergency. Lawyers and legal scholars, among others, are routinely dismissed or threatened by the authorities.

In Azerbaijan, the Bar Association is not independent and does not protect its members against undue interference with the exercise of their professional duties. Rather, it often serves as a tool of retaliation against independent human rights lawyers, including through disbarment proceedings that contravene international standards.

We would ask the Special Rapporteur for his views on the role his mandate can play in these and similar situations.

The ICJ also welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women.”

https://www.icj.org/hrc35-srijl-srvaw/