Tag Archives: Ireland

The Russian invasion of Ukraine: what the international legal community can do to help


The webinar titled ‘The Russian invasion of Ukraine: How can the legal profession provide support to Ukraine?’ took place on 6 April 2022 and was expertly moderated by Joanna Weller of LexisNexis, who is also the Co-Chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum.

The IBA Law Firm Management Committee spearheaded the creation of this webinar as part two of the Russian invasion of Ukraine series and the recording is available here. Part one can be viewed here.

Wayne Jordash QC, Managing Partner at Global Rights Compliance, said that in the future, there will be a need for people who can provide on-the-ground support. ‘People who know their way around the battlefield and search for the ugly truth whenever possible will be needed.’ It will be essential for them to study the local laws. He warned audience members not to go at this alone, but to coordinate with local agencies. ‘You don’t want multiple people interviewing multiple witnesses,’ said Jordash. He stressed that this was not a short-term project and that the international community will need to focus on this for the long term.

‘Even in war, international law has its own rules, but not for Russia. They have even managed to create new kinds of crimes,’ said Anna Ogrenchuk, President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, based in Kyiv. She pointed out, ‘this is one of the challenges we as international lawyers have to face.’ Ogrenchuk remarked how grateful her group was for the support of the various bar associations and lawyers worldwide. However, she pointed out the difficulty and intricacies that will still need to be sorted out from a legal standpoint.

Wendy Betts is Director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, an initiative of the IBA. The organisation works with human rights defenders worldwide and has been working in Ukraine since 2017. Their efforts have been made possible through advances in technology, particularly cell phone usage, to record crimes and related volatile situations. As footage and metadata of this type needs to be verified in order to be used for legal purposes, they have developed an app that helps create footage that cannot be edited or deleted, keeping the integrity of the data and saving it in a closed system. The validity is closely maintained through a chain of custody backed by technology donated by LexisNexis.

Jörg Menzer of Noerr leads the firm’s Bucharest office and is Chair of the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI). He asked the group specifically what could be done by private practice lawyers and what they should consider as the next steps.








https://fr.zone-secure.net/109394/1553047/?fbclid=IwAR1oWhsLx8eH0i-_wa69MOkDv_KPk55RBVZgl8Ci0KNBDjBiZ_heHyc4i8c#page=3 (FRANCAIS)




CCBE: Speech by Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice


Speech by Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice at the occasion of the CCBE Brussels Standing Committee on 1 April 2022 – Discours de Didier Reynders, commissaire européen à la justice, à l’occasion du comité permanent du CCBE à Bruxelles le 1er avril 2022




https://www.lja.fr/l-oeil-sur/la-convention-europeenne-pour-les-avocats-sprint-final-694154.php (FRANCAIS)



Ukraine: At least 3 lawyers killed in combat


On behalf of the Legal Community of Ukraine, on behalf of more than 65,000 Ukrainian advocates and personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to appeal to the commonwealth of European advocates and lawyers and speak here at the meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee.

Today, the attention of the whole world is focused on Ukraine. Since 24 February, military operations have been ongoing in our country. Every day people die – both military and volunteers, doctors, civilians, and children.

Dozens of advocates joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Unfortunately, we already have lost at least three of our colleagues – from the Vinnytsia and Kharkiv regions.

In the first hours of the military aggression, we had a scheduled meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine. Despite the sounds of explosions, we held it. Each regional representative was present, and I, as the President of the Bar Council of Ukraine, was in Kyiv as well.

On that day, we adopted a number of decisions, in particular recommending QDCBs not to consider it as a misconduct where advocates enlisted into military service had not suspended their right to practise, as required by law. Advocates have neither time nor the possibility to file for suspension of practice.

In the first hours of the military aggression, I called on all advocates to maintain trust and rely on state institutions, which jointly determine political, military and diplomatic steps to protect Ukraine and ensure the safety of its citizens.


Click to access EN_20220401_Speech-from-the-UNBA-President-at-CCBE-SC.pdf

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/law-society-webinar-on-war-in-ukraine (LAW SOCIETY OF IRELAND WEBINAR, APRIL 7th, 2:30pm)











https://unba.org.ua/ (UKRAINIAN)

https://www.actu-juridique.fr/international/international-etrangers/jerome-gavaudan-rappeler-la-protection-due-aux-refugies-est-dans-notre-adn/ (FRANCAIS)












It’s been almost six months since the United States packed up and pulled out of Afghanistan, ending the longest war in American history and sending thousands of Afghans into hiding. The Taliban, rebranded as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, initially promised amnesty and understanding to those who had opposed the terror group for more than 20 years.

But as many had feared, the Taliban lied.

A United Nations report released this week and seen by several news organizations claims approximately 100 former Afghan military members and government officials have been killed since the Taliban took over, at least two-thirds of them directly by the Taliban or their affiliates. That figure seemed improbable to one woman reached by Coffee or Die Magazine who is currently hiding in Afghanistan from Taliban retaliation. And it rang “unrealistically low” to a Marine Corps veteran in Mississippi who spends his free hours desperately trying to coordinate the rescue of people still in the country.

In a tweet, an account linked to the Taliban Ministry of Interior Affairs said the government “has not killed anyone since the amnesty.”

Aysha, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, is a 26-year-old human rights activist in Afghanistan who has spent the last five months hiding in fear for her life. She moves from one safe house to the next every few weeks, a shell-game tactic used to avoid the Taliban’s door-to-door searches.

“They are killing soldiers, activists and lawyers in the cities, villages and surrounding areas by [calling them] thieves, or removing them from their homes to unknown places,” Aysha told Coffee or Die. “No trace of them is left.” 


“The Taliban are actively persecuting those who either worked against the Taliban movement with the government or those who spoke out against the Taliban movement while they were conducting their insurgency,” Espinal said. “Two weeks ago we had an incident where one of the judges left the compound and the Taliban controlling that district recognized [him]. And [he] and his wife were beat in front of the family pretty much and they were taken away to an unknown prison. Luckily for them, they were one of the few that were released.”









https://www.sudouest.fr/justice/bordeaux-une-avocate-afghane-accueillie-le-coeur-ouvert-par-ses-confreres-8135235.php (FRANCAIS)


Colombia: Day of the Endangered Lawyer – select tweets



Taliban proceed with plans to strip independence of Afghanistan lawyers



Afghanistan’s Justice Ministry reiterated Monday that the country’s independent lawyers will need to re-certify under a new qualification process ser by the Ministry, signaling the intent of the Taliban authorities to plough ahead with plans to strip the country’s legal profession of its independence.

According to the statement, the country’s lawyers will be authorized to continue practicing with their previous licenses until the new certification process has been finalized.

This was the latest step in a series of efforts by the new regime to crack down on the activities of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA), an organization established in 2008 to oversee the licensing of new lawyers, and to champion the rule of law and social justice.

On November 14, the Taliban Cabinet decreed that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) would gain jurisdiction over AIBA affairs. On November 23, the AIBA offices in Kabul were taken over by armed Taliban who threatened the staff and lawyers who were present with violence before ordering them to leave and installing a new president with questionable professional qualifications. “The person appointed as the new AIBA head is said to be part of the Ministry of Justice but has no relevant experience,” according to a Kabul-based JURIST correspondent. These armed forces had apparently interpreted the Cabinet decree to indicate that the MOJ should have sole authority over licensing, as well as control of the AIBA’s extensive member database and bank account.

A group of AIBA members hoping to raise awareness of the importance of the profession’s independence organized a press conference for December 5, but their plans were halted when, as they prepared to go live, their plans were thwarted by two carloads of armed Taliban. Many have remained in hiding ever since.







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Canada: How we can do better for Afghan nationals


Afghan people on flag concept

Existing measures to bringing them to Canada are insufficient, too restrictive, and encumbered by delays. And there are better ways.

In Afghanistan, a woman hides in a safehouse with her children. She used to be a political activist; now, she’s on the run from the Taliban. The man who owns the safehouse wants her to marry her 10-year-old daughter to his 20-something son. Does she have a choice?

Another Afghan woman desperately wants to flee the country, but her daughter is disabled, and she can’t get the medication she needs. Meanwhile, a family hides in a Kabul hovel with a huge hole in the outside wall — they haven’t gone outside in weeks. What choice do they have?

All over Canada, immigration lawyers are fielding frantic pleas for help from Afghans hoping to come here. Some have made it to third countries. Some, fearing capture and murder by the Taliban, are still in hiding in Afghanistan. All are losing hope.

“I get eight to ten emails a week from people like this,” said Halifax-based immigration lawyer Thiago Buchert. “Judges, lawyers, journalists. Some of them are in hiding because the people they put in prison for domestic violence were freed by the Taliban and are looking for payback. And I can’t tell them anything they can use.”

In August, the federal Liberals made a campaign promise to resettle at least 20,000 Afghan refugees in Canada. After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s re-election in September, the target was raised to 40,000.

But to people working in immigration law, the target is almost meaningless because the government is in no position to meet it — not even under the extended two-year timeline offered recently by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“We have to be cautious about cynicism,” said Arvin Afzali, an immigration lawyer and founder of Auxilium Law in Toronto. “Yes, the federal government has been slow to implement a program, but it is working on one.

“But the logistics are not there yet and there’s nothing we can tell the people asking us for help.”

Recently, the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section sent a six-page letter to Fraser calling on him to rewrite the rules for Afghan refugees.





CCBE plea for legal means to protect profession


CCBE plea for legal instrument to protect profession

The CCBE has said that that attacks against the legal profession now take place in countries where a certain level of respect for the rule of law exists, including EU or Council of Europe member states.

In its end-of-year newsletter, body has reiterated its support Council of Europe work for the establishment of a new legal instrument on the profession of lawyer.

The CCBE has welcomed the recent decision of the Council of Europe to set up a new committee on the protection of lawyers to draft the new legal instrument.


The organisation believes that there is a clear need for adopting a new binding legal instrument on the profession of lawyer “accompanied by an implementation mechanism in order to guarantee the proper administration of justice and the respect of the rule of law”.

The goal of the legal instrument will be to strengthen the protection of the profession of lawyer and the right to practise the profession without prejudice or restraint.

The CCBE believes that none of the existing non-binding instruments cover comprehensively all the issues such as:





https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/convention-europeenne-sur-la-profession-davocat/ (FRANCAIS)

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European #Lawyers Day 2021: The Council of Europe attaches particular i

Canada: Ottawa urged to help Canada’s lawyers left behind in Afghanistan


The founder and managing partner of a Kabul law firm that spent years working for Canada’s embassy in Afghanistan says many of his colleagues were left behind and are in hiding, so he is urging the federal government to quickly bring them to Canada.

Saeeq Shajjan’s firm, Shajjan & Associates, was hired by the Canadian embassy in Kabul and Global Affairs Canada in 2013, and the contract is valid until Dec. 31. Mr. Shajjan and his family were first evacuated to Qatar after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August, then travelled to Canada. Twenty-nine of his colleagues and their families were not as fortunate.

He said the past four months have been draining and he has given no thought to starting his new life in Canada. “I’m really concerned about the safety and security of everyone who is left behind,” he said.

“It’s so difficult to receive these calls and messages from my colleagues. Some of them, they’re literally in hiding. They would move from one place to a different place to make sure that they keep their safety and they’re not traced.”

In July, Marco Mendicino, who was immigration minister at the time, announced that Ottawa would resettle thousands of Afghans who had worked alongside Canadian troops and diplomatic staff through a special immigration program. The government later promised to bring 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has said that helping people inside Afghanistan is particularly challenging because the Taliban control exit routes, so Ottawa has to work with partners on the ground to ensure their safe passage.










https://news.fr-24.com/nouvelles/609634.html (FRANCAIS)

Afghanistan: Taliban justice ministry takes lawyer licensing control from Afghanistan Bar Association


Afghanistan dispatches: Taliban justice ministry takes defense lawyer licensing control from Afghanistan bar association

Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul offers his observations on a Taliban move to take direct regulatory control of defense lawyer licensing, shifting that from the country’s bar association. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our Correspondent’s name. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

The Taliban have changed the regulatory authority of the defense lawyers from the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association to the Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice of the Taliban announced yesterday that all defense lawyers and those who had a license from the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association should come to the Ministry of Justice for obtaining a license. Affairs related to the defense and licensed lawyers used to be regulated by the “Advocate Law” in the country. The Advocate Law provides that the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association shall issue licenses for the applicants. In Afghanistan, those who graduated from law and sharia are eligible for a license.

According to the Advocate Law, obtaining a license in Afghanistan is subject to an exam like other countries.

The Ministry of Justice has warned licensed lawyers and those who are applying to obtain a license to come to this ministry for the license, otherwise they will not be able to work as a defense lawyer.

Bringing the defense lawyers under the structure of the Ministry of Justice means that the Taliban are looking to further regulate this area in the country. The Ministry of Justice have not provided any information whether or not the Advocate Law will be amended and/or the procedures for issuing the license will be changed.

The Ministry of Justice already have the Legal Aid Directorate under its structure and that is meant to provide legal assistance for the people who cannot afford hiring a lawyer to represent them before the courts. Adding a new department to regulate affairs related to the defense lawyers from the Bar Association, in my opinion, will decrease the donor funds and international assistance to this entity.