Tag Archives: Law Society of England & Wales

Turkey: Int’l law associations urge UN to pressure on Turkish gov’t over persecution of legal professionals

September 18, 2018

Three international law associations have urged United Nations (UN), enter into urgent dialogue with the Turkish government with a view to ending the persecution and prosecution of legal professionals in the country.

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Law Society of England and Wales have written a 34-page report in relation to breaches of the rights and protections of the legal profession in Turkey and submitted Diego García-Sayán, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers on Tuesday in Geneva.

The report entitled “International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey” which was submitted to the UN related to human rights violations which have occurred and are occurring since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and examines the position post the ending of the State of Emergency in Turkey.

“Primarily, new laws place in a statutory framework the pre-existing threats to the independence of the legal profession, including arbitrary arrest and detention, dismissals, and breaches of the right to a fair trial and due process,” said the international law associations in their joint letter in which they presented the report to UN’s García-Sayán.

https://stockholmcf.org/intl-law-associations-urge-un-to-pressure-on-turkish-govt-over-persecution-of-legal-professionals/

International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

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Turkey: Int’l bar associations urge Turkish gov’t to release all legal professionals and journalists

September 14, 2018

Several international bar associations have urged the Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to unconditionally release and drop charges against all legal professionals, defenders and journalists who have been arbitrarily arrested, charged or sentenced without credible evidence and in violation of fair trial guarantees.

The Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), The Law Society (TLS) and nongovernmental organizations in special consultative status said in a statement to the 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that the situation of judges, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey deteriorated dramatically after a coup attempt by a section of Turkey’s military on July 15, 2016,

“On 20 July 2016, President Erdogan imposed a State of Emergency decree that resulted in widespread, systematic violations of non-derogable rights, including arbitrary deprivation of liberty, torture, and enforced disappearances,” the international lawyers’ associations said, adding, “While the State of Emergency was lifted on 18 July 2018, Turkey passed legislation on 25 July 2018, codifying emergency decree laws for a further three years, that facilitates the arbitrary dismissal of judges and officials, detention without charge for up to 12 days without adequate court oversight, and imposes restrictions on assembly.”

The statement continues as follows:

https://stockholmcf.org/intl-bar-associations-urge-turkish-govt-to-release-all-legal-professionals-and-journalists/

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-release-21-arbitrarily-imprisoned-members-of-the-istanbul-bar-association-letter/

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Poland: Press release on the proposed reform of the Supreme Court in Poland

June 29, 2018

LSG logo

In a press release, the Law Society of England and Wales expresses its concerns over the upcoming reform of the Polish Supreme Court that would curtail the rule of law in the country.

 

The new legislation is set to come into force on 3 July and may lead to the dismissal of almost 40% of existing Supreme Court’s judges, by reducing the retirement age from 70 to 65 years of age. It would also provide discretionary powers to the President of the Republic to decide over the composition of the Court. The proposed amendments are in stark violation of the principle of irremovability of judges as enshrined in regional and international law, and should therefore be halted.

The European Union is already undertaking dialogue with the Government of Poland in this regard. It is envisaged that the European Court of Justice may also have powers to take interim measures to suspend the implementation of the proposed legislative reform and prevent the suspensions of Polish Supreme Court judges foreseen after 3 July.

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/international/international-rule-of-law/lawyers-at-risk/press-release-on-the-proposed-reform-of-the-supreme-court-in-poland/5065382.article

https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/eu-to-open-case-against-poland-over-supreme-court-law/

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/european-commission-to-sue-poland-over-supreme-court-law—sources-10481614

Turkey/IBAHRI: State of emergency and attacks on the legal profession in Turkey (VIDEO)

June 28, 2018

During HRC 38, IBAHRI co-organised a UN side event with the #LawSocietyand #BHRC on the state of emergency and the independence of the legal profession in #Turkey. The discussion focused on the systematic persecution of lawyers and threats to the rule of law since the attempted coup in 2016. Watch event: https://vimeo.com/277104106

IBAHRI also delivered an oral statement on behalf of five other organisations on widespread human rights violations against Turkish lawyers.

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook)

https://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI.aspx

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session38/Pages/38RegularSession.aspx

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Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: SCC honorary chairman appointed to CRCICA board

February 9, 2018

ALB

LIFE AFTER REVOLUTION

One aspect of the changing market for legal services relates to relations between government and civil society groups and lawyers, showing.  Egypt is not without its problems, particularly for lawyers practicing in Egypt.

Some Egyptian lawyers have been denied the rights to a fair trial and freedom of expression and assembly because of broad security legislation passed since 2013, as well as facing travel bans and prosecution for carrying out their professional duties, in support of human rights.

On 24 January 2018, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, which focuses on the rule of law issues in the legal profession internationally, was dedicated to Egypt. The American Bar Association (ABA) and both the English and Welsh legal representative bodies, as well as a consortium of international lawyers, spoke out, calling for the role of lawyers and the rule of law to be respected in the country.

In a statement released local time, ABA president Hillary Bass said that lawyers should be able “to work without intimidation, harassment or improper interference and to ensure that they are adequately safeguarded when their security is threatened”, citing United Nations principles justifying such protection. Those taking comfort from Franke’s appointment will hope that Egypt addresses those concerns, as well as promoting its ability to resolve those of investors.

https://www.africanlawbusiness.com/news/7941-scc-honorary-chairman-appointed-to-crcica-board

 

UK: Tony Fisher: ‘Rights are precious and are easily lost’

January 31, 2018

Solicitor Tony Fisher, Senior solicitor at Fisher Jones Greenwood in Colchester, awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Modern Law Awards.

LIFETIME achievement awards are not given out lightly. The recipients are often shining lights in their fields who have, as the name suggests, a lifetime of achievement behind them.

For Tony Fisher, senior partner at Colchester law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood, recognition at this year’s Modern Law Awards is a token of his tireless enthusiasm.

Towards the end of the cases he realised he was not going to be able juggle it all. He stopped the European case work but joined the Human Rights Committee at the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors.

He became chairman of the Human Rights Committee in 2007, making interventions on behalf of lawyers being persecuted in other countries. Other challenges include a lack of opportunities for younger trainees.

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/15907322.Top_lawyer_____Rights_are_precious_and_are_easily_lost___/

https://www.modernlawawards.co.uk/2017-18-winners

https://www.modernlawawards.co.uk/

Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Endangered lawyers: Climate of intimidation ‘re-emerging’ in Northern Ireland

January 24, 2018

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Attacks on Northern Ireland solicitors and law officers in press and parliament have led to harassment and credible death threats against lawyers, the Gazette has been told. As the legal profession worldwide marks the ‘Day of the Endangered Lawyer’, alleged UK government indifference has attracted international criticism.

Highly personalised attacks on lawyers involved in ‘legacy’ cases from the Troubles, through inquests, civil actions or prosecutions, have been made in the Daily Mail and the Sun. The Sun has named and photographed a number of solicitors and their offices and published details of the value and rough location of family homes. A piece in the The Sunday Times’ Dublin edition labelled lawyers the ‘legal auxiliaries’ of the Sinn Fein-IRA ‘family’.

Criticism in parliament has included a reference to ‘extreme nationalist-leaning individuals in the Northern Ireland justice system’, taken to be a reference to Northern Ireland’s first Catholic DPP Barra McGrory.

Pádraig Ó Muirigh, director of Belfast human rights firm O’Muirigh Solicitors, was told by police to review his personal security three years ago, as his movements were being monitored. Others, including solicitors from Belfast firm KRW, report death threats and abuse on the streets and online following press coverage. ‘It’s become more difficult in recent times,’ he added.

A strongly-worded letter on the subject sent last summer to the Prime Minister and to then-Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire by the president of the 24,000-member New York City Bar, John Kiernan, has been seen by the Gazette. Kiernan expressed ‘a series of concerns surrounding the recent climate of intimidation that has been re-emerging for lawyers in Northern Ireland’.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/endangered-lawyers-climate-of-intimidation-re-emerging-in-northern-ireland/5064500.article

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On the #DayOfTheEndangeredLawyer, we stand in solidarity with all lawyers across the globe who are being subject to threats and harassment for simply exercising their profession.

In 2018 the focus is on lawyers in #Egypt, who have to live with constant surveillance, smear campaigns and intimidation from state-affiliated media and authorities.

We encourage everyone today to show your support and join the demonstrations outside of your local Egyptian embassies, or attend one of the many interesting events!

#WeAreAllHumanRightsDefenders — Standing up for lawyers!

(Justice and Peace Netherlands Facebook)

http://dayoftheendangeredlawyer.eu/