Tag Archives: Ireland

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

Day of the Endangered Lawyer 24th January 2023 13th edition – AFGHANISTAN


The 24th of January marks the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. On 24 January 1977, 4 lawyers and a co-worker were murdered in Madrid. Since 2010, this date is remembered as The Day of the Endangered Lawyer with the purpose of increasing awareness about lawyers across the globe who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted and tortured because of their profession.

The 2023 edition aims to shed some light on the challenges faced by lawyers in Afghanistan.

The fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001 prompted the reconstruction, reform and modernisation of the war-torn Afghan judicial system and the legal profession. In 2008, the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (“AIBA”) was established. The AIBA administered the licensing and regulation of lawyers, promoted excellence and equal opportunity in the legal profession, trained future lawyers, and advanced the rule of law and social justice.

When the Afghan government fell in August 2021, two decades of progress were erased and the country’s judicial system collapsed. In November 2021, the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice issued a decree depriving the AIBA of its independence and its authority to grant licences to lawyers. Taliban forces started targeting lawyers who had previously worked on “sensitive” cases (e.g., cases involving the defence of human rights, including women’s rights, and other similar matters).

According to the AIBA, 7 lawyers have been killed since the dissolution of AIBA and 146 lawyers have been arrested or investigated.









https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11783/giornata_internazionale_dellavvocato_minacciato_2023_24012023_-_focus_sull_afghanistan.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.cba.org/News-Media/Press-Releases/2023/Statement-from-the-CBA-President-Steeves-Bujold-on (FRANCAIS)

Afghanistan: Male judges and prosecutors left behind in ‘forgotten crisis’


The Taliban’s increasingly draconian policies in Afghanistan, the return to Sharia law and attacks on women’s rights have rightly drawn the world’s attention. However, almost 18 months after the Taliban seized power, there are growing calls to ensure that Afghan men, including those working in the legal profession, are also safe from harm.

Imogen Canavan, a Legal Consultant at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, has worked closely with the IBA and the International Association of Women Judges to evacuate vulnerable Afghans since August 2021. As part of these efforts, hundreds of female judges deemed to be at risk were evacuated alongside their families and have since been resettled in Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Iceland.

While Canavan says these efforts are to be hugely commended, she’s increasingly concerned for the safety of male judges in Afghanistan who are now being forced to impose Sharia Law. ‘One of the focuses for me as a consequence of this work has been the male judges, because I feel like they’re a much bigger group,’ she says. ‘There are about 200 female judges, but there are about 2,000 male judges. What we see in terms of security risks for them is mostly kidnappings of the eldest son. They usually want the judge to present themselves to the Taliban in exchange for the son. Then often we anticipate that this would be likely to result in killing or certainly torture. There’s extortion as well.’

Safiya was an Afghan national working in the UK last August when the Taliban seized Kabul. Though she had no previous links to the legal profession, she, like Canavan, found herself fully immersed in the evacuation efforts. Safiya has watched in horror at how women have been steadily removed from nearly all areas of public life in Afghanistan, but says many male judges could be even more at risk than their female counterparts. ‘A lot of very well-known male judges were left behind,’ she says. ‘That’s the thing that upset me the most because all these men at the top of their field were getting in touch with me, but there was no evacuation mechanism for them. They’re the ones that are most in need now.’

Canavan says it was also a mistake that prosecutors weren’t deemed at risk enough to be evacuated by governments and humanitarian organisations in the wake of the Taliban takeover. ‘They are being attacked with knives and guns and their homes are being burnt down,’ she says. ‘Like legal academics, this group has not been prioritised, has been left behind and nobody’s thinking about them.’



Click to access ILAC_Afghanistan_Report_2023-2.pdf




https://news.un.org/fr/story/2023/01/1131517 (FRANCAIS)


Afghanistan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


Every year on the 24th of January, the International Day of the Lawyer in Danger mobilises the international community on the difficulties and threats to the practice of law. The situation of lawyers in Afghanistan was chosen for the year 2023. Lawyers have been targeted since the Taliban government took power on 15th of August 2021.

The impossibility or even the prohibition for women to practice their profession and the obligation for men to obtain a new licence under the control of the terrible Taliban Ministry of Justice, undermine the free exercise of lawyers’ profession. Not to mention the dramatic deterioration of the rule of law, jeopardising the lives of thousands of Afghans, including many lawyers, forced to flee or hide in the country.

On the occasion of this international day, the OIAD is organising a conference on the 20th of January 2023 in Lyon entitled “The defence of defence in times of crisis”, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine and Iran.


Join us, in person or online, for this mobilisation day. The debates will be fully translated into English, French, Spanish and Italian.

We also invite you to participate in the OIAD’s workshops.

Consult the agenda for the 20th of January 2023 HERE.

Link to register for the conference: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5s45W-_oQtaFBkzQkAR9vg


2023: Afghanistan






https://protect-lawyers.org/2022-afghanistan/ (FRANCAIS)








https://protect-lawyers.org/it/2022-afghanistan-3/ (ITALIANO)

https://protect-lawyers.org/de/2022-afghanistan-4/ (DEUTSCH)



Ukrainian lawyer with procurement expertise gets new start on life and career in Canada


Last February, Mykyta Zhukov was enjoying a holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife, celebrating their birthdays with “blue ocean, white beach, palm trees and waterfalls.”

But that idyllic vacation was shattered on Feb. 24 when the Ukrainian lawyer specializing in public procurement and litigation started getting emails from friends and relatives saying that Russia had invaded Ukraine. “The first notification from our parents and friends shocked us. We were scared.”

Zhukov, who, in addition to running his law firm, is head of the Ukrainian Bar Association’s committee on constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights, realized that the invasion would forever change his life and career.

And so began an odyssey that took Zhukov and his spouse to Poland, Ireland, and now Canada.


His Ukrainian Bar Association committee work also led to the association signing a memorandum of cooperation with Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI), an organization founded by the Law Society of Ireland, the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and the Bar of Northern Ireland. The purpose of the memorandum agreement is to promote the rule of law and harness the skills of lawyers in tackling global injustice, inequality, corruption, and conflict. Zhukov also was involved in founding the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers in Ireland.


Given the ease of doing legal work remotely, Zhukov is still fulfilling his duties with the Ukrainian Bar Association while working on building his business in Ukraine and outside. He also realizes he is facing a new challenge in applying his professional skills in a new country. While he would have to take the relevant courses and exams to become a lawyer in Canada, he feels there are still many ways he could apply his professional skills and abilities, along with his interest in legal technology.

He also wants to be an unofficial “ambassador” for Ukraine, providing information about the country and its people. “I am happy to share my experience in finding new contacts, finding clients, as well as potential forms of cooperation with foreign companies,” he says, adding that his experience could be useful for lawyers of Ukrainian heritage worldwide.






https://unba.org.ua/news/7792-advokati-hersonshini-muzhn-o-vistoyali-period-okupacii.html (UKRAINIAN)

CCBE rights awards for Ukrainian lawyers


The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has decided to grant its Human Rights Award 2022 to both Ukrainian human-rights lawyer Nadia Volkova and the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA).

The lawyers’ group praised their courage, determination, and commitment to defending human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine.

CCBE President James MacGuill SC will present the awards during a CCBE plenary session on Friday (25 November) in Brussels.

Rule of law

“With this award, the CCBE wishes to highlight the important role that the legal profession plays for Ukrainian citizens in defending their fundamental rights,” the organisation said.

“It will also demonstrate the need to preserve the integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law, especially in times of war,” it added.

The annual award highlights the work of one or more lawyers or lawyers’ organisations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice in upholding fundamental values.







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



Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) supports institutional independence of Ukrainian legal profession


Ukrainian National Bar Association Vice President Valentyn Gvozdiy held a working meeting with the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), James MacGill, and the head of the organization’s secretariat Simone Cuomo during the annual conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Miami (USA)

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement, Ukrainian MP Sergii Ionushas, ​​also took part in the meeting, emphasizing the exceptional importance of the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the field of European integration.

As you know, with our country receiving the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union, the Ukrainian National Bar received the opportunity to raise its status in the CCBE from an observer member to associate member status. This opens up new possibilities and access to more information regarding regulating the legal profession.

Integrating such an important institution as the Institute of Advocacy into the European Legal Community is essential for Ukraine. Building a solid institution to protect Ukraine’s human rights is a prerequisite for strengthening the rule of law. This is the condition the EU has set for Ukraine to grant membership.

The Ukrainian National Bar Association cooperates with European colleagues almost daily, informing them about the current state of the legal system in the country and the challenges facing the legal profession during the war.

It will be recalled that the CCBE provided significant charitable assistance to Ukrainian lawyers affected by the war and, having developed with UNBA, adopted the necessary recommendations to facilitate the access of Ukrainian advocates to the market of legal services in European countries.

Founded in 1960, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is an international non-profit association that, since its inception, has been at the forefront of promoting the views of European lawyers and protecting the legal principles on which democracy and the rule of law are based.






Afghan judges and prosecutors who sentenced Taliban ask Spain for help


Zobaida Akbar worked in the General Prosecutor’s Office of Afghanistan until August 15, 2021. That day, the Taliban took over Kabul, and this prosecutor, who had handled hundreds of terrorism cases against radicals and local Daesh commanders, was forced to flee his home. “We went from our house to our relatives because they were looking for us,” he says. After suffering for several weeks, he managed to leave the country and reach Islamabad, Pakistan. She is one of 32 female lawyers for whom associations of judges and prosecutors have appealed to the Spanish government, who consider her situation critical.

In an open letter sent to Pedro Sánchez, the associations Judges and Judges for Democracy and the Progressive Union of Prosecutors regret that “the Spanish government is not responding to this humanitarian crisis in the way that is expected of our country.” In their letter, they recall that these women “had the right to accuse and condemn men, and this is anathema to the Taliban’s ideology” and that “for a very long time” they sought international protection at the Spanish Embassy in Islamabad. Answer.

Qudsia Sharif is one such woman. According to elDiario.es, seven months ago, he requested international protection from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the capital of Pakistan. This 28-year-old girl started her professional career in 2016 as a research lawyer in Ghor to eliminate violence against women. “At that time, I was the only woman working in justice in this province,” she explains. In 2018, she moved to Kabul to take up a position as a prosecutor, which led her to participate in around 40 trials against the Taliban, while also combining her gender research consulting work with international organizations.

“In August 2021, when the Afghan government collapsed due to the Taliban, the days of misery began, especially for women,” says Sharif. “Girls were first deprived of their right to education, protests were brutally suppressed, and protestors were arrested and tortured in prisons. Prosecutors and judges have been forced out of office and the judiciary is collapsing as cases are decided by fatwa [ley islámica]”, he explains from Islamabad. Organizations working to aid the group indicate that the Taliban have killed 26 prosecutors since taking over Kabul. “We’re trying to save our lives,” he says.

In an Amnesty International report, Published on July 27The organization agrees that “the Taliban violates the rights of women and girls to education, work and free movement; They destroy the projection and support system for those escaping gender-based domestic violence; arresting women and girls for minor violations of discriminatory rules; and contribute to the increase in the number of early and forced marriages in Afghanistan.” Additionally, the study’s findings echo what Sharifi expressed: “Women who peacefully protest these oppressive norms are threatened, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and subject to enforced disappearance.”

“Since the union of progressive prosecutors, we have spent a year in front of the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prove the extreme situation experienced by the group of judges, prosecutors and human rights defenders. For a rule of law like ours to work, there must be people who guarantee this public service. When the situation changes, as the Taliban seize power, it is a moral obligation to protect these people,” UPF President Ines Herrera defends.







https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/chute-de-kaboul-un-apres-que-pouvons-nous-faire (FRANCAIS)


Ireland: Invite to Ukrainian lawyers for networking and info


The Law Society is hosting a networking and information event on Wednesday, 27 July for Ukrainian lawyers who have been displaced during the last number of months .

All members are requested to share this invite with interested parties.

The event will run from 2pm to 6pm, with Law Society President Michelle Ní Longáin opening proceedings.

Legal implications

A panel of guest speakers will address topics including:

  • Introduction to Ukraine Ireland Legal Alliance Working Group (UILA),
  • The Association of Ukrainian Lawyers,
  • How to become a lawyer in Ireland,
  • Working as a Ukrainian lawyer in the Ukrainian jurisdiction while in Ireland,
  • Diploma in Law ­– concessions for Ukrainian lawyers,
  • Law Society Professional Training – how it can help,
  • Legal implications of Russian invasion of Ukraine,
  • Potential legislative measures in response to the illegal invasion of Ukraine,
  • Mutual recognition of qualifications – the EU perspective.

In February of this year the Law Society stood in solidarity with many other bodies and nations in condemning the actions taken by Russia against Ukraine.

It has since began coordinating offers of assistance to Ukrainian lawyers who have been forced to relocate to Ireland.

To RSVP, please email by this Friday (22 July) to memberservices@lawsociety.ie