Tag Archives: International Commission of Jurists

Tajikistan: UN Group Calls On Tajik Government To Release Imprisoned Rights Lawyer

June 6, 2019

Buzurgmehr Yorov was one of the very few lawyers in Tajikistan willing to defend people the government considered opponents.

A UN agency is calling on authorities in Tajikistan to free lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov from prison, saying Yorov’s rights have been consistently violated since the moment of his detention.

Yorov was one of the very few lawyers in Tajikistan willing to defend people the Tajik government considered opponents. Yorov was also a vocal critic of rights abuses.

In September 2015, Yorov agreed to represent 13 high-ranking members of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The IRPT had been represented in the Tajik government until March of that year, when it lost its last two seats in parliament. By late August, a Tajik court had banned the party; then, in September, following an armed conflict between government forces and a group loyal to the country’s deputy defense minister, a Tajik court declared the IRPT an extremist group and arrested the members of the party’s leadership who were still in the country. The authorities never publicly offered compelling evidence to substantiate accusations of links between the mutinous deputy defense minister and the IRPT.

On September 26, 2015, Yorov met with one of his clients. Two days later, he made a public statement saying his client was being tortured. Later that same day, Yorov was taken into custody. On October 6, 2016, a court in Tajikistan found Yorov and fellow human rights lawyer Nuriddin Makhamov guilty of fraud, swindling, arousing national, racial, local, or religious hostility, and extremism, and gave them long prison sentences.

Yorov was put on trial two more times with additional time added to his sentence, eventually totaling 28 years.

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

WGAD decision on detention Yorov

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/tajikistan/63795/european-union-and-tajikistan-held-their-7th-cooperation-committee-meeting_en

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

Tajikistan: ICJ calls for immediate release of imprisoned lawyer

UN committee offers grim view Tajikistan’s human rights record

https://akhbor-rus.com/-p2321-161.htm (RUSSIAN)

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

Home

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)

Azerbaijan: ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan

May 8, 2019

The recommendations published today follow the Conference on the Independence of the Legal profession held by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Baku and the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) in Baku, on 15-16 November 2018.

The Conference created much-needed space for a dialogue on the issue of independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan with both national and international stakeholders, as lawyers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan shared their experiences and good practices in addressing challenges to the independence of lawyers. Drawing on the discussions at the Conference, and taking into account key findings of the ICJ report of 2016 “Defenceless Defenders: Systemic Problems in the Legal Profession of Azerbaijan” as well as more recent legislative and administrative developments, the ICJ makes recommendations aimed at strengthening the role and independence of lawyers and improving access to justice in Azerbaijan. The recommendations are informed by international law and standards on the role of lawyers and cover four main aspects: adequacy of the number of lawyers to ensure access to justice; the examination procedure for qualification as a lawyer; professional ethics of lawyers and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers.

ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/4/free/Social/en/80441.htm

https://www.voanews.com/a/azerbaijan-journalist-freed-from-prison-but-not-free-to-travel-/4903975.html

Ukraine: criminal proceedings against lawyer Andriy Domanskyi raise concerns

April 12, 2019

Today, the ICJ expressed concern at the criminal proceedings against Andriy Domanskyi, a lawyer practicing in Ukraine, known for representing individuals facing political prosecution and defending journalists.
The ICJ has called on the Ukrainian authorities to drop any criminal proceedings which may result from the identification of the lawyer with his clients and to ensure that the lawyer’s rights are protected and that he can continue to carry out his professional activity without improper interference, intimidation or threat.

On 5 April Domanskyi was issued a note of suspicion in a criminal proceeding reportedly initiated in 2013 concerning the “privatization of municipal premises”.

Criminal proceedings were initiated one day after the commencement on 4 April of a trial of his client Kirill Vyshynskyi, Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine recently changed with high treason and a number of other crimes.

Domanskyi considers these criminal proceedings against him are linked with his professional activity and are a means of putting pressure on him as a result of work on this high-profile case.

Ukraine: criminal proceedings against lawyer Andriy Domanskyi raise concerns

International Commission of Jurists/Tunisia: ICJ Congress 2019: the Tunis Declaration, Video

April 4, 2019

At the 19th World Congress of the ICJ held in Tunisia on 23-24 March, some 100 distinguished judges, lawyers came together to adopt the Tunis Declaration on Reinforcing the Rule of Law. The Declaration was published today. Watch the Congress video clip.

The Tunis Declaration reaffirms the ICJ’s unyielding commitment to defend and advance the Rule of Law and human rights at a time when commitment to them by States and other powerful actors appears to be wavering.

It stresses that not only are human rights and the Rule of Law indispensable to the betterment of the human condition and a dignified life for all people, but also must be harnessed and developed to address such contemporary challenges as catastrophic climate change and the effects of digital technology.

The Declaration sets out key elements of the Rule of Law and human rights and aspects of their application to the independence of judges and lawyers; access to justice and accountability; security; equality and non-discrimination; and civil society space and fundamental freedoms.

https://www.icj.org/icj-congress-2019-the-tunis-declaration-video/?fbclid=IwAR2CIPNgdifdAvMLX26o2gdq0BEaZZM8nx1iErfB4cERZSeXB4UGijm7H8U

https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Universal-ICJ-Tunis-Declaration-Advocacy-2019-ENG.pdf (N.B. pp 3-5 ON “INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES AND LAWYERS”)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1912_en.htm

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/news/protecting-and-strengthening-rule-law-europe-2019-apr-03_en

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1957_pt.htm

https://www.venice.coe.int/WebForms/pages/?p=02_Rule_of_law&lang=EN

https://www.democracywithoutborders.org/6976/global-rule-of-law-continues-to-decline-but-resistance-is-gaining-strength/

https://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2019/04/04/cancelled-panel-on-turkish-rule-of-law-sparks-debate-around-foreign-political-pressure-academic-freedom-at-columbia/

Kazakhstan: frivolous disbarment proceedings against prominent lawyer Sergey Sizintsev should be immediately dropped, ICJ says

March 6, 2019

Today, the ICJ expressed concern at the initiation of disbarment proceedings by the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan against Sergey Sizintsev, former Executive Director of the National Bar Association and the newly-elected head of the Scientific-Consultative Board of the National Bar Association. 

The official ground for disbarment of Sizintsev is his work as the Director the National Bar Association in 2016-2018 while continuing his legal practice at the same time.

On his facebook public account, however, Sizintsev alleged that this initiative is not related to the officially stated grounds, and that in fact continuing to practice while working as Director of the Bar Association is clearly permitted by the Kazakhstan’s law. Rather, he alleges, he is being pursued for his criticism of the law “On lawyers’ activity and legal aid” as well as his public statements in different international and national fora in regard to issues related to the independence of the legal profession.

The ICJ recalls that freedom of expression and association, in particular, constitute essential requirements for the proper and independent functioning of the legal profession and must be guaranteed by law and in practice.

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

https://bit.ly/2TkQZBa?fbclid=IwAR2MF7ncmdd1b1AXr6J1aPLV-wafWZrrU08_4D98Q0z95Ue51OAlI_qq5Rw

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VUKeFaPtpvgI43YJpyMVJata0HJIDK31/view?fbclid=IwAR1Ybsy5QfAXxxS764kH6l3-Yng_OGb7gczjrrDThf4uzauZgCCgv22VgPU (KAZAKH)