Tag Archives: ICJ

Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan/Ukraine: Side Event: Defenceless defenders: addressing the attacks on lawyers in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine

June 22, 2018

This side event at the Human Rights Council takes place on Tuesday, 26 June, 14:00-15:00, room XXVII of the Palais des Nations.  It is organized by the ICJ and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).

In recent years, lawyers have increasingly been targeted across the world including Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Attempts to impede the work of lawyers through arbitrary disbarments and other disciplinary procedures, criminal or administrative proceedings, physical attacks or intimidation have become an unfortunate new normality in many lawyers’ work.

Lawyers are too often identified with their clients’ cause or specifically targeted in violation of their right to freedom of expression. This side event will discuss challenges faced by lawyers in defending human rights in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Moderator: Róisín Pillay, ICJ Europe and CIS Programme Director


  • Helene Santos, Senior Fellow–UN Liaison Officer in Geneva for the IBAHRI
  • Fariz Namazov, Lawyer, Member of the Azerbaijan Bar Association
  • Hanna Boryak, Lawyer, Chair of the Committee for the Protection of Advocates’ Rights and advocacy at the Ukrainian National Bar Association
  • Iurii Grygorenko, Lawyer, member of the Committee for the Protection of Advocates’ Rights and Advocacy at the Ukrainian National Bar Association
  • Temur Shakirov, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser Europe and CIS Programme


#HRC38 | Side Event at UN Geneva on « Defenceless #defenders: addressing the attacks on #lawyers in #Azerbaijan#Kazakhstan and #Ukraine » organised by the International Commission of Jurists and International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute

(Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos 26/6/18)

ICJ: The case for drafting a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer

June 19, 2018

The ICJ welcomes the proposal of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in its Recommendation 2121(2018) calling for the development of a Council of Europe Convention on the Profession of Lawyer.

The ICJ believes that such a Convention could make an important contribution to strengthening the rule of law and the protection of human rights in the Council of Europe region, building on existing Council of Europe standards and jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

The ICJ particularly welcomes PACE’s call for an effective control mechanism to be put in place under a new Convention, as recent developments in a number of Council of Europe Member States show a significant gap in implementation of Council of Europe standards on the independence and security of lawyers.

Lawyers, along with judges and prosecutors, are one of the pillars on which protection of the rule of law and human rights through the justice system rests.

Recognizing this, the ICJ, since its foundation in 1952, has worked to protect lawyers under threat and to develop international standards for the independence, role and integrity of the profession.



Click to access EN_Why-a-European-Convention-on-the-profession-of-lawyer-is-needed.pdf

Azerbaijan/ICJ: Human Rights lawyers Asabali Mustafayev and Nemat Karimli must be allowed to practice their profession

May 7, 2018

The ICJ today denounced the decision of the Presidium of the Azerbaijan Bar Association, of 23 April 2018, to suspend the licences of two Azerbaijan human rights lawyers Asabali Mustafayev and Nemat Karimli (picture).

The ICJ called on the Presidium to reverse their decision and allow the lawyers to resume their practice.

It stressed that disciplinary proceedings pending against the lawyers should be immediately terminated.

The ICJ said that the decision of the Presidium was contrary to international standards on the role of lawyers including the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under international law.

The ICJ understands that the proceedings against the two lawyers, initiated following a submission of the Deputy Prosecutor General, were related to the critical statements made by the lawyers in the media, regarding high profile criminal cases.

Nemat Karimli, had stated in media interviews that his client Afgan Mukhtarli, an opposition activist convicted on charges of smuggling, had been illegally and forcibly transferred from Georgia to Azerbaijan and that his life could be at risk if he was returned to Azerbaijan.

The lawyer also complained of excessive searches and being prevented from communicating in private while visiting his client in detention.

The disciplinary proceedings against Asabali Mustafayev relate to allegations he made on social media that the prosecution of politician Gozal Bayramli, on a charge of smuggling, was politically motivated.

Both lawyers were charged with spreading false statements and slanderous information about investigative authorities.





Egypt/ICJ: immediately release Hisham Geneina, quash his conviction

April 25, 2018

The ICJ today called on the Egyptian authorities to quash the conviction of, and immediately release Hisham Geneina, a former judge and former head of the Central Auditing Authority in Egypt.

A Cairo military court convicted Geneina on Tuesday 24 April and sentenced him to five years in prison for “publishing false information harmful to the national security.”

The charges were related to a media interview in which Geneina criticized the interference of the Egyptian authorities in the election process and referred to the existence of documents that incriminate political and military leaders since 2011, including in cases of human rights violations.

The first hearing of the military trial took place on 18 April.

At the defense request, it was adjourned to 20 April so that the lawyers can have access the case file. The judgement was issued 4 days later.

“Genina’s detention, prosecution and conviction solely for peacefully and legitimately exercising his right to the freedom of expression is a testament to the length to which Egypt’s military and government would go to silence critical voices,” said Saïd Benarbia, ICJ MENA Director.






Russia/ICJ: Russian Federation: authorities must repudiate intimidation of lawyer

October 27, 2017

Today, the ICJ expressed concern at the allegations of harassment of lawyer Shamil Magomedov following an acquittal of his client Sulntankhan Ibragimov, who had been accused of murder.

The allegations should be investigated and authorities must make clear to law enforcement officials that such intimidation and harassment is prohibited, the ICJ said.

Yesterday, the lawyer alleged that on 19 October, while he was in Moscow, a law enforcement officer visited his home in Dagestan and questioned his family members about his whereabouts and “why he complained so much to law enforcement bodies”.

The lawyer believes this is related to the acquittal of his client, Sulntankhan Ibragimov, in whose case a decision had been delivered three days before.

When the matter was raised in court, Prosecutor Magomed Aliyev claimed the law enforcement officer’s visit was routine.

The ICJ considers that in the circumstances, the visit to and questioning by a law enforcement officer of a lawyer’s family about his professional activities could only reasonably be understood as a form of intimidation or harassment.


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.







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

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

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.