Tag Archives: ICJ

Tajikistan: Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

July 1, 2019

Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

Today Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement during the 126th session of the Human Rights Committee for the review of Tajikistan’s compliance with it’s international human rights obligations. In July 2018, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a submission for the List of Issues for this review, to inform the Committee about the situation of lawyers in Tadzjikistan.

 

Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted the failure of the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan to ensure that all persons have effective and equal access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession.

Firstly, The legal profession lacks institutional independence. The admission to and the continued practice within the legal profession is controlled by the executive branch. The 2015 Law “On Advokatura and Advocates’ Activities” requires all lawyers to renew their accreditation and go through a new examination process, which must be redone every five years. Since the reform, the number of licensed lawyers in Tajikistan has fallen precipitously. This seems detrimental to access to justice. The process also carries the risk of misuse by authorities seeking to exclude or disbar lawyers.

Secondly, professional rights and privileges of lawyers who are still able to practice law are violated. Lawyers are repeatedly denied access to clients in detention and to appropriate information. Lawyer-client confidentiality and lawyers’ rights to freedom of expression and association are not respected. Furthermore, lawyers involved in sensitive cases are identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. These lawyers have been subjected to intimidation, harassment as well as arbitrary arrests, prosecutions and convictions. Some of them are now in prison after closed, unfair trials, or were forced to flee the country due to fears of reprisal. An emblematic case is the prosecution of Buzurgmehr Yorov, who is serving a combined sentence of 28 years in prison. As a result of these problems, lawyers are unable to provide effective legal representation.

Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/11/submission-un-human-rights-committees-review-tajikistan

https://www.rferl.org/a/un-group-calls-on-tajik-government-to-release-imprisoned-rights-lawyer/29985133.html

Tajikistan: ICJ calls for immediate release of imprisoned lawyer

UN committee offers grim view Tajikistan’s human rights record

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/tajikistan/2019/07/d25410/

https://www.dw.com/en/tajikistan-regime-targeting-families-of-political-activists/a-49541709

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

Kazakhstan: Адвоката, критиковавшего поправки в законодательство, лишили лицензии

21/05/19

Адвоката, критиковавшего поправки в законодательство, лишили лицензии

Ранее Сергей Сизинцев неоднократно подчеркивал, что минюст решил отозвать его лицензию из-за его критики в адрес поправок в закон об адвокатской деятельности

Критиковавший поправки в законодательство известный адвокат Сергей Сизинцев лишился лицензии в Северо-Казахстанской области.

«Суд решил исковое ГУ «Министерство юстиции РК» о лишении лицензии на занятие адвокатской деятельностью Сизинцева Сергея Васильевича удовлетворить, лишить Сизинцева С.В. государственной лицензии на занятие адвокатской деятельностью, выданной МЮ РК 8 апреля 2011года. Взыскать с Сизинцева в доход местного бюджета госпошлину в размере Т1263», – огласила во вторник решение судья Петропавловского городского суда №2 Лариса Крюкова.

Иск к Сизинцеву о лишении лицензии на занятие адвокатской деятельностью минюст в лице департамента юстиции СКО подал в феврале. Основанием послужили результаты проведенной проверки на предмет наличия судимости и занятия предпринимательской и иной оплачиваемой деятельностью адвокатами Северо–Казахстанской коллегии адвокатов.

https://time.kz/news/2019/05/21/advokata-kritikovavshego-popravki-v-zakonodatelstvo-lishili-litsenzii

Заявление Президиума Алматинской городской коллегии адвокатов

https://kaztag.kz/ru/news/kritikovavshiy-popravki-v-zakonodatelstvo-izvestnyy-advokat-lishilsya-litsenzii-v-sko

http://www.adilet.gov.kz/ru/news/nesoblyudenie-trebovaniy-zakona-osnovnaya-prichina-lisheniya-advokatskoy-licenzii

http://sotreport.kz/news/po-delu-advokata-sizintseva-naznachena-sluzhebnaya-proverka/

https://www.icj.org/kazakhstan-sergey-sizintsevs-disbarment-is-contrary-to-the-law-and-should-be-revised/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Kazakhstan_-_Kazakhstan/2019/EN_HRL_20190325_Kazakhstan_Disbarment-proceedings-against-lawyer-Sergey-Sizintsev.pdf (ENGLISH)

https://www.icj.org/kazakhstan-disbarment-proceedings-against-a-leading-lawyer-sergey-sizentsev-should-be-immediately-dropped/?fbclid=IwAR3iqcBq8OTC5O1wgaLiQkXn6RxOzytlNNfeRdycydWdTBKfpMF7IN1V6TA (ENGLISH)

N.B.: Rights lawyer Sergey Sizintsev has been disbarred.  A complete court decision has not yet been released, but he stated that he will appeal the decision.

Image may contain: textLast week a trial observer with the IBA’s Human Rights Institute attended a court hearing in Kazakhstan. The court heard a case filed by the Ministry of Justice requesting the removal of lawyer Sergey Sizintsev’s license to practice law. Mr Sizintsev was accused of practicing law while holding a paid position as Executive Director of the Republican Bar Association between 2016-2018.

In court, he was represented by 18 fellow lawyers. A day later, the court delivered its judgement for Mr Sizintsev to be disbarred. The court stated that Mr Sizintzev violated the Law on Lawyers’ Activity and Legal Aid prohibiting legal practice alongside paid employment that is not related to educational, scientific or creative activities.

However, the court failed to take into account Article 33 (11) of the same Law, which explicitly allows lawyers to take up paid elective or appointive office in a bar association, Republican Bar Association or international public bar associations.

Mr Sizintsev was unexpectedly dismissed from his position as the Executive Director of the Republican Bar Association in October 2018. While Executive Director of the Republic Bar, Mr Sizintsev was very vocal about the independence of the legal profession in Kazakhstan and actively criticized a highly restrictive draft law proposed by the Ministry of Justice in 2017.

The IBAHRI is concerned about the growing number of incidents of intimidation and harassment of lawyers in Kazakhstan. Following the adoption of the Law on Lawyers’ Activity and Legal Aid in July 2018, the government continues to strengthen its control over the legal profession in Kazakhstan, thus distancing itself from the standards of the international legal community.

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 28/05/19)

Switzerland: The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project

May 20, 2019

Image result for ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative

The ICJ, the Geneva Bar Association and the Geneva legal community have joined forces to launch the ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative. Under the Initiative, Geneva lawyers will join ICJ missions on the five continents to support the independence and integrity of lawyers and judges at risk, and to promote the Rule of Law.

The Initiative launches with a mission tomorrow, May 21st. A lawyer from the Geneva Bar Association will go to Guatemala to work the ICJ team and lawyers investigating and fighting the forced displacement of the indigenous community of La Laguna de El Petén.

Missions under the initiative will typically involve, among other things:

– Trial observations;

– Fact-finding missions;

– Support for the independence of lawyers and bar associations;

– Capacity building and training activities;

– Expertise and academic support.

Since its founding in 1952, the ICJ has played a unique and preeminent role as a non-governmental organization for the defense of the Rule of Law around the world, and the independence of judges and lawyers.

With the presence of its headquarters in Geneva for more than 60 years, through the Initiative the ICJ is further deepening its special bond with the city, to spread and share the spirit of Geneva.

“International support and solidarity are crucial to the work of lawyers defending the human rights of those who are often marginalized from power,” said Michaël Sombart, Director of Strategic Partnerships of the ICJ. “With this project the ICJ can help lawyers around the world benefit from the reputation and high standing of the Swiss legal community and bring the message of the Genève humanitaire beyond borders.”

The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project

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https://www.icj.org/fr/licj-et-lordre-des-avocats-de-geneve-lancent-avec-la-communaute-juridique-de-la-republique-un-projet-ambitieux-de-cooperation-internationale/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.odage.ch/ (FRANCAIS)

Burma: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Calls for Swift Justice for Slain Lawyer U Ko Ni

January 30, 2019

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged authorities to find justice as soon as possible for prominent constitutional lawyer U Ko Ni and taxi driver Ko Ne Win, two years after they were gunned down in Yangon.

U Ko Ni, a legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), was gunned down at pointblank range outside Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29, 2017. Ko Ne Win, a taxi driver at the scene, was killed by the same gunman while chasing after him.

The 63-year old lawyer was an expert on the military-drafted Constitution and came up with the idea of creating the position of state counselor to get around a clause in the charter effectively banning Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency. He advocated for changes to the Constitution that would strip the military of its undemocratic privileges; many believe those efforts led to his death.

In her message at a commemoration ceremony for the lawyer and driver in Yangon on Tuesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi praised them as ‘”role models who sacrificed their lives for truth and justice” and called their deaths “a big loss for Myanmar.”

“I would like to urge the concerned authorities to find speedy justice for Saya U Ko Ni and Ko Ne Win, who both sacrificed their lives to help fight the challenges to promoting the rule of law and justice in Myanmar,” she said.

To date, 72 prosecution witnesses and 40 defense witnesses have appeared in court over the course of 101 hearings in the trail of U Ko Ni’s accused assassins — gunman Kyi Lin and alleged conspirators Zeya Phyo, Aung Win Zaw and Aung Will Tun. A verdict is expected after the defense makes its closing argument on Friday, prosecution lawyer U Nay La told The Irrawaddy.

https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/daw-aung-san-suu-kyi-calls-swift-justice-slain-lawyer-u-ko-ni.html

https://www.icj.org/myanmar-icj-marks-2nd-year-anniversary-of-the-killing-of-lawyer-u-ko-ni/

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/international-jurists-call-thorough-probe-u-ko-nis-slaying.html

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Myanmar-government-seeking-changes-to-the-military-drafted-Constitution-46117.html

https://www.watoday.com.au/world/asia/landmark-report-reveals-new-human-rights-abuses-in-myanmar-20190131-p50uxj.html

https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/01/in-myanmar-final-arguments-made-in-muslim-lawyers-murder-case

https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/verdict-u-ko-ni-murder-case-due-feb-15.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/myanmar-court-hears-arguments-muslim-lawyer-murder-case-190201121127671.html?fbclid=IwAR0GRB47CJCzP_4CDg4oRsCRm4jafPEAFZDXuAP-g19c8wSDlULNnXG6R5A

https://www.irrawaddy.com/dateline/u-ko-ni-assassination-prosecution-lawyers-view-trial.html

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

Tajikistan: regional conference on the role and protection of lawyers

November 9, 2018

Today the ICJ, in co-operation with the Legal Policy Research Centre and the Union of Lawyers of Tajikistan, is holding a regional conference on the independence and role of lawyers, in Dushanbe.

Lawyers from Tajikistan as well as other countries of Central Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe will discuss the legal safeguards that should apply to lawyers to ensure that they can defend the human rights of their clients and the role of bar associations in protecting the security and independence of lawyers.

They will consider the role of committees to protect the rights of lawyers, which have been established within the bar associations of several countries in the region, and how these specialized bodies can work most effectively.

A set of recommendations on the protection of lawyers in the region will be produced following the conference.

https://www.icj.org/tajikistan-regional-conference-on-the-role-and-protection-of-lawyers/?fbclid=IwAR2EuH-u9F2Vw2oqm6GYWbXnPI7Szza22NPfMnA7kBiuSnskIXmLehUr-qg

https://euobserver.com/opinion/143485

http://lprc.kz/en

Image may contain: 2 people, including Sergey  Sizintsev, people smiling

(Facebook, 11/11/18)

Azerbaijan: ICJ intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning restrictions of lawyer’s rights

September 26, 2018

International Commission of Jurists

Today, the ICJ has presented a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in Alayif Hasan oglu Hasanov v. Azerbaijan case.

In its submissions, the ICJ stresses that, while lawyers must perform their professional functions in conformity with ethical standards, the systems and procedures in respect of conditions of service, including in respect of admission to the profession and discipline, must not enforce such obligations in a way that impairs the exercise of human rights by lawyers or their capacity to effectively represent their clients.

The ICJ presented the submissions based on the jurisprudence of this Court as well as international standards governing the legal profession.

In particular, the submission addressed permissible restrictions of lawyers’ rights to respect for private (including professional) life under article 8 ECHR and to freedom of expression under article 10 ECHR, as well as the procedural safeguards required to apply such restrictions under article 6 ECHR.

https://www.icj.org/azerbaijan-icj-intervenes-before-the-european-court-of-human-rights-in-a-case-concerning-restrictions-of-lawyers-rights/

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

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/oral-statement-on-upr-outcome-2/

https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/view/-/asset_publisher/ugj3i6qSEkhZ/content/commissioner-mijatovic-intervenes-before-the-european-court-of-human-rights-in-the-case-of-emin-huseynov-v-azerbaijan

Poland/Tajikistan/Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan/ Russia/Belarus: Next target: legal profession, HDIM side event, Warsaw

September 10, 2018

The legal profession plays a crucial role in ensuring access to justice for all, transparency and accountability of the state, Rule of law and the respect for human rights.

 

Yet, instead of being perceived as a vital player to the justice sector, today lawyers are often targeted by the governments in many OSCE countries for seeking truth and justice. As a result, lawyers often face high risks of persecution, harassment as well as severe sanctions for doing their job.

This side-event aims to specifically discuss the situation of lawyers in Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. The discussion will extend to consider the latest developments related to the rights of lawyers and their independence in the respective countries, and what impact this has on the overall rule of law and human rights situation.

This side event will take place on 12 September 2018, from 13.00 -15.00 at Hotel Bristol, Warsaw

Moderator: Jurate Guzeviciute, Programme Lawyer, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute

Presentations and Discussions:

Independence of the legal profession and harassment of lawyers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia:

https://www.icj.org/next-target-legal-profession-hdim-side-event-warsaw/