Tag Archives: Ireland

Afghan judges and prosecutors who sentenced Taliban ask Spain for help

16/08/22

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.limerickleader.ie/news/home/882274/limerick-solicitors-assist-ukrainian-counterparts.html

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2022/0817/1316175-afghanistan-refugees/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/12/a-year-after-taliban-afghans-who-chose-to-stay-fear-grim-future

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/levine-a-year-of-the-taliban-five-women-mps-who-were-left-behind

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/report-shows-judiciary-most-corrupt-institution-afghanistan

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

https://dernieres-nouvelles.com/elle-a-fui-lafghanistan-avec-son-diplome-de-droit-cousu-dans-sa-robe-beaucoup-de-ses-collegues-ont-ete-laisses-pour-compte/

Ireland: Invite to Ukrainian lawyers for networking and info

19/07/22

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

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/invite-to-ukrainian-lawyers-for-networking-and-info

https://www.irishlegal.com/articles/law-society-to-host-event-for-displaced-ukrainian-lawyers

(UKRAINIAN)

UN Human Rights Council: Self-governing professional bodies key to rule of law

04/07/22

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) participated in the recent 50th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán presented his report on the free and independent exercise of the legal profession. 

The CCBE says that the report is important and positive for the legal profession in its emphasis on states taking all necessary measures so that lawyers may exercise their legitimate professional rights and duties free from all restrictions, and without fear of reprisals – including judicial harassment.

Measures

García-Sayán, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, recommends that states should implement measures to prevent the identification of lawyers with their clients or the causes they defend.

The Special Rapporteur also stresses the importance of Bars and Law Societies remaining independent and self-governing, to protect the independence and the integrity of lawyers, as well as safeguarding their professional interests.

On the ongoing work of the Council of Europe on an international legal instrument to protect the legal profession, the Special Rapporteur supports the adoption of a binding instrument that is open to accession by non-member states of the Council of Europe.

The Special Rapporteur also thanked the CCBE (pictured) for its work on the report, praising it for “defence of defenders”.

Binding legal instrument

He ended by appealing again to the Council of Europe member states to support the adoption of a binding legal instrument on the protection of the free and independent exercise of the legal profession that is open to accession by non-member states of the Council of Europe.

The report emphasises that the free exercise of the legal profession is an indispensable element of the judicial guarantees that ensure a fair trial and the protection of human rights.

[…]

Undue restrictions

States have a duty to guarantee that lawyers can exercise their profession without undue restrictions. 

The report concludes with recommendations on how to protect those practising law.

Restrictions on the work of lawyers have increased as a result of the measures adopted by the states in response to coronavirus, the report points out.

Between 2010 and 2020, more than 2,500 lawyers were killed, detained or kidnapped in different regions of the world, the report adds.

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/self-governing-professional-bodies-key-to-rule-of-law

U.S. law schools are funding degrees for Ukrainian lawyers

15/06/22

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is working to bring a half dozen Ukrainian lawyers to the United States to spend a year studying and doing pro bono work related to their home country.

The initiative is part of the school’s Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project, which aims to apply human rights law and other legal remedies to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The university committed to paying the Ukrainian LL.M. students’ tuition and covering their travel and living expenses as needed.

“Three days after the war started, we said, ‘We have to do something.’ And this is what we came up with,” said Charles Kotuby, head of the law school’s Center for International Legal Education, which is spearheading the project.

Pittsburgh is not the only U.S. law school hosting Ukrainian lawyers next year, though its program may be the largest. The University of Miami School of Law and the University of Florida Levin College of Law have created scholarships for a Ukrainian law graduate to attend their LL.M programs. LL.Ms are year-long masters programs in U.S. law for people with law degrees from other countries.

Pittsburgh spread word to potential candidates on social media through its network of about 30 Ukrainian alumni, and through Kotuby’s network of contacts at law firms in Kiev. Kotuby recently joined the law school after 20 years in law firm Jones Day’s global disputes practice.

[…]

https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/us-law-schools-are-funding-degrees-ukrainian-lawyers-2022-06-15/

https://www.law.miami.edu/news/2022/may/ukrainian-student-miami-law-her-own-words

Click to access International%20Charitable%20Assistance%20for%20UNBA.pdf

https://www.coe.int/en/web/help/all-news/-/asset_publisher/nkS1iPUkreIb/content/ukraine-human-rights-education-for-legal-professionals-and-university-students

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/international-rule-of-law/news/how-lawyers-can-show-support-for-people-in-ukraine

https://www.wesa.fm/education/2022-06-08/pitt-to-help-ukrainian-lawyers-bring-the-war-against-russia-into-the-courtroom

https://www.lawtimesnews.com/news/general/pro-bono-ontario-launches-refugee-legal-relief-initiative-for-ukrainians-seeking-refuge-in-canada/367423

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Solicitors/Representation/ukraine-crisis

Afghanistan/USA: Afghan Women Judges Visual Storytelling Project Launched

10/06/22

Newly announced, the Afghan Women Judges Visual Storytelling Project seeks to collect the stories of Afghan women judges before the rise of the Taliban, and the challenges and adjustments they have faced since. The project is designed in three phrases; video portraits; a media repository and a documentary. The Visual Storytelling Project is reaching out to people who want to share their stories and who want to collaborate or support the project. Contact: DocumentaryEducation@gmail.com.  Read more on the attached précis of the project.

https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/40760/afghan-judge-receives-human-rights-award

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/24/afghan-female-judge-awarded-prestigious-human-rights-prize

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/in-depth/afghan-women-judges

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/17/afghan-judges-hoping-for-uk-asylum-not-treated-consistently-say-lawyers

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct41vv

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/in-depth/afghan-women-judges

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/07/speak-behalf-afghan-women

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/09/tougher-steps-needed-against-afghanistans-taliban

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/10/afghanistan-taliban-torture-civilians-panjshir

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2205/S00361/facing-critical-human-rights-challenges-afghanistan-at-a-crossroads-says-un-expert-in-kabul.htm

UK: How lawyers can help Ukraine

23/05/22

The Law Society has assisted the profession through the upheavals of the last few years by providing, on each occasion, resources for solicitors. It started with Brexit, moved on to the coronavirus pandemic, and now we are at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Each development has had multiple consequences for the profession. The repercussions from the invasion of Ukraine are several, and still working themselves out: the retreat of law firms from Russia, the storm over SLAPPs (resulting in last week’s Law Society response to the government’s call for evidence), and the current difficulties over sanctions, both in acting for sanctioned individuals and in the possibility that sanctions on providing services to Russia might be extended to include legal services

A common question from lawyers is what they can individually do to help, to avoid looking on helplessly as Russia trashes areas of Ukraine.

Some may want to give money. The Law Society’s webpage refers readers either to the web-page of the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA), which contains more information, or to major charities running appeals. For those more interested in a benefit in kind, there is a reference to the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Ukraine web-page of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is much more upfront about money. (Most self-respecting bars have Ukraine web-pages these days, usually with an expected statement condemning Russian aggression. The CCBE has even written to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) offering to assist him with his investigation – see more on the investigation below.)

Regarding money, the CCBE says:

‘The Ukrainian National Bar Association has made a call for donations to support the Ukrainian lawyers and their families. The aid will be distributed by the Charity Foundation of the National Bar Association of Ukraine (100% owned by the National Bar Association of Ukraine) to those lawyers who need it the most, including those who have lost their homes, been injured, have no means of subsistence. A Board of Trustees will prepare and publish a report on the use of these funds.’

[…]

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/how-lawyers-can-help-ukraine/5112582.article

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2022/ukraine-looks-at-ways-of-excluding-russia-from-un

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/05/as-war-rages-in-ukraine-lawyers-consider-genocide-laws/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-61564440

https://unba.org.ua/mizhnarodna-dopomoga-dlya-naau

https://unba.org.ua/news/7434-unba-reports-on-international-charitable-assistance.html

https://en.unba.org.ua/

https://uba.ua/eng/

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/05/human-rights-council-adopts-resolution-deteriorating-human-rights-situation

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

21/04/22

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://www.ibanet.org/ukraine-webinar-report-lfmc

https://www.lawsociety.ie/News/News/Stories/law-society-professional-training-supports-ukraine-colleagues?fbclid=IwAR0KSMFaT1ljOOg6ZQkTtrMMlEYYLbjt693uQwKulqPnUmBz88Ge-_WKBR0

https://ccbe.eu/actions/events/

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/ukraine/

Ukraine

https://news.siu.edu/2022/05/050322-SIU-School-of-Law-commencement-ceremony-is-May-6.php

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

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/evenements/

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/covid-19/

https://www.droit-inc.com/article38331-Quebec-apporte-son-soutien-a-Avocats-sans-frontieres

CCBE: Speech by Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice

11/04/22

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.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/can-the-council-of-europe-help-us-with-our-problems/5112171.article

https://www.ccbe.eu/

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/reynders_en

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

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/reynders_fr

Ukraine: At least 3 lawyers killed in combat

01/04/22

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://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/international-rule-of-law/news/how-lawyers-can-show-support-for-people-in-ukraine

https://www.politicshome.com/members/article/bar-council-pledges-support-for-ukrainian-lawyers

https://www.ibanet.org/IBA-condemns-Russian-legal-organisations-vocal-support-of-Putins-war-against-Ukraine

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/support-our-ukrainian-colleagues-letter-president-uia-herve-chemouli#:~:text=Lawyers%20%7C%2022.03.2022-,Support%20our%20Ukrainian%20colleagues%20%E2%80%93%20Letter%20from,President%20of%20UIA%2C%20Herv%C3%A9%20Chemouli

https://www.aija.org/en/news/art312

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/dentons-ukraine-lawyers-relocate-to-poland-other-europe-offices

https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/news/opinion/the-war-on-ukraine-the-moral-imperative-for-lawyers/365245

https://www.law.com/international-edition/2022/03/08/nobody-is-going-to-give-up-how-ukraines-lawyers-are-taking-up-arms-and-facing-russias-war/

https://en.unba.org.ua/

https://uba.ua/eng/

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)

https://www.avocatparis.org/Solidarite-Ukraine

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/le-cnb-exprime-sa-totale-solidarite-envers-la-population-et-les-avocats-ukrainiens

https://actu.fr/bretagne/saint-malo_35288/a-saint-malo-la-justice-se-mobilise-dans-un-role-inattendu-pour-lukraine_49736523.html

https://www.avocatparis.org/actualites/les-avocats-montent-au-front-des-droits-et-libertes

https://avocats-valdemarne.com/le-barreau/dernieres-actus/885-ukraine-communique

https://www.ouest-france.fr/normandie/caen-14000/les-avocats-du-barreau-de-caen-votent-une-mention-en-soutien-a-l-ukraine-598bee66-a055-11ec-b494-7a5e63fed517

https://www.lessor38.fr/les-avocats-condamnent-l-invasion-de-l-ukraine-104887.html

https://www.leprogres.fr/faits-divers-justice/2022/03/10/quand-les-avocats-lyonnais-s-activent-pour-aider-les-ukrainiens

THE TOLL OF HIDING IN AFGHANISTAN

02/02/22

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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://coffeeordie.com/hiding-afghans/

http://crawler.com.ng/Gunmen-shoot-dead-two-Afghan-women-judges-in-Kabul-228259.html

https://www.lawsociety.ie/News/News/Stories/afghan-legal-response-progress-update

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-brother-of-canadian-embassy-worker-in-kabul-staff-killed-in/

https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/28/the-afghan-women-making-athens-their-new-home

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/01/afghanistan-dispatch-afghan-students-will-no-longer-have-the-opportunity-to-apply-for-fulbright-scholarships/

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018829142/afghans-still-stranded-despite-high-court-win-lawyers

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

https://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2022/02/01/retour-a-kaboul-sous-emirat-taliban-sur-canal-une-vision-mi-figue-mi-raisin-du-nouvel-afghanistan_6111903_3246.html