Tag Archives: Law Society of England & Wales

UK: How solicitors and firms are supporting displaced Ukrainian lawyers

29/09/22

Since the illegal invasion of Ukraine began, the solicitor profession has stood in solidarity with the country and its people. We brought together over 100 displaced Ukrainian lawyers and 24 major employers to create networking, employment and training opportunities.

Over 170 guests attended the job fair on 26 September, which aimed to support Ukrainian lawyers who have moved to the UK following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Over 20 major employers, including Shell, Deutsche Bank, Dentons and LexisNexis, had the opportunity to promote a diverse range of roles and initiatives to more than 100 Ukrainian lawyers and collect applications for vacancies.

UK organisations also provided practical advice and guidance, helping lawyers to understand their options for employment and training.

“Today is an example of solidarity in action,” said chief executive of the Law Society, Ian Jeffrey.

“We have brought together law firms, in-house legal teams, legal service providers, recruitment agencies, training providers and English language schools that Ukrainian lawyers will be able to meet with.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, gave a powerful speech condemning Russia’s illegal invasion of his homeland.

He also highlighted the critical role of initiatives that address local problems experienced by Ukrainian refugees, including the search for employment and housing.

[…]

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/international/how-solicitors-and-firms-are-supporting-displaced-ukrainian-lawyers

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-berkshire-63061116

https://www.avocatparis.org/Solidarite-Ukraine (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.lecho.be/economie-politique/belgique/general/les-dossiers-venus-de-russie-tourmentent-les-avocats/10417428.html

UK: Barristers walk out of courts in strike over pay

27/06/22

Barristers are on strike across England and Wales in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Eight out of 10 cases at London’s Old Bailey were disrupted by the walkout, barristers outside the court said.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the strikes will “delay justice”, as courts already face a backlog of 58,000 cases.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, deputy chair of the Criminal Bar Association, said a proposed 15% pay rise would not happen until the end of next year.

By then, she told the BBC, it would be too late to help and would not do enough to stem the flow of junior barristers leaving the bar.

Criminal barristers – who represent people in court – have been striking over legal aid payments.

Under the legal aid system, the government pays for barristers to ensure suspects who can’t afford lawyers are properly advised and represented.

The government sets pay rates for barristers doing legal aid work.

Dozens of barristers have been rallying outside the Old Bailey in their robes and wigs, as two murder trials at the court – one involving a teenage suspect – were unable to get under way.

[…]

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61946038

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/jun/27/criminal-barristers-begin-strike-in-row-over-legal-aid-fees

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-27/trial-lawyers-walkout-across-uk-over-government-funding

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/barristers-strike-disrupt-courts-legal-aid-funding-b2110005.html

Criminal bar strike in pics 📸

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/legal-aid/bar-strike-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/jun/20/criminal-barristers-vote-strike-legal-aid-england-wales-crown-courts

UK: PM must stop attacking lawyers for upholding the rule of law

15/06/22

“The Bar Council and Law Society of England and Wales together call on the prime minister to stop attacks on legal professionals who are simply doing their jobs.” We’ve issued a joint statement condemning the prime minister’s assault on lawyers challenging the plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

As the first flight attempting to take asylum seekers to Rwanda was grounded on Tuesday 14 June, the prime minister has suggested that lawyers bringing legal challenges are “abetting the work of criminal gangs”.

Together with the Bar Council, we believe the work lawyers do is essential for upholding the rule of law.

“Legal challenges ensure government is acting lawfully, following laws agreed by parliament.

“It is misleading and dangerous for the prime minister to suggest lawyers who bring such legal challenges are doing anything other than their job and upholding the law.

“Anyone at risk of a life-changing order has a right to challenge its legality with the assistance of a lawyer, who has a duty to advise their client on their rights.”

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/news-articles/pm-must-stop-attacking-lawyers-for-upholding-the-rule-of-law

https://www.lawcareers.net/Explore/News/Bar-Council-and-Law-Society-blast-Boris-Johnson-over-Rwanda-asylum-policy-15062

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/boris-johnson-rwanda-lord-reed-government-prime-minister-b2100797.html

https://www.ein.org.uk/news/bar-council-and-law-society-warn-prime-ministers-attacks-immigration-lawyers-are-misleading

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/rwanda-removals-raise-rule-of-law-questions

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/uks-deportation-plan-attacks-basic-dignity-lawyers-85354772

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

Refugee lawyer describes harrowing invasion of Ukraine

14/04/22

A Ukrainian lawyer described the harrowing scenes she witnessed after the Russian invasion, telling an ABA panel on April 7 that she was forced to flee her country with her three young children and leave behind her husband.

Alesya Pavlynska, an employment lawyer at the Ukrainian firm Arzinger Law, described her shock as the first missiles shook Kyiv in the early hours of Feb. 24.

Her husband, Vitalii Shestak, told her and their three kids—Maria, Ivan and Oles—that they would need to take shelter. Pavlynska showed the panel a picture of her children bundled up in a frigid cellar and huddled around their phones.

“It seemed to be unreal and not possible in the modern world—in modern Europe,” Pavlynska said of the moment it dawned on her the invasion was happening.

More than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldava and Romania. The ABA convened the webinar, “Ukraine’s Refugee Crisis: The Faces of War,” to discuss the ongoing crisis and how its members can help.

[…]

ABA President Reginald M. Turner Jr. echoed Pavlynska’s message about the rule of law in remarks prerecorded for the webinar audience, saying the war and crisis had to be viewed through the lens of the “fundamental premise to advance liberty and justice for all.”

“Lawyers believe not in the rule of force, but in the rule of law. We believe that human rights are the bedrock of life and liberty. Our stake in the rule of law compels us to denounce the Russian invasion and rededicate our support of international institutions that promote peace and security,” Turner said.

Advocates urge fast action

Speaking from London, Ukrainian Bar Association President Anna Ogrenchuk said she wants the international community to form a special tribunal to investigate war crimes after documented atrocities in Bucha. Ogrenchuk says it’s likely war crimes have been committed in other parts of the country where the Russian military is present. She urged the American legal community to use its clout to support the tribunal and gather evidence.

“We need your expertise. We need your help in investigating and documenting all war crimes —when the crimes are still been committed,” Ogrenchuk said.

More should also be done to cripple the Russian economy, she added. The UBA has released several open letters, including ones to international companies and businesses operating in Russia and international law firms, legal associations and regulators.

“Every day of war costs Russia about $20 billion, and this money comes from companies who pay taxes in Russia,” Ogrenchuk said. “A full economic embargo is the only alternative to a very long and damaging war in Ukraine.”

There are approximately 60,000 attorneys in Ukraine, and about half of them are women, Ogrenchuk added. She said her bar association estimates that two-thirds of female lawyers have left the country, but women are currently doing the bulk of legal work because many male lawyers have enlisted in the military.

[…]

https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/at-aba-panel-refugee-lawyer-describes-harrowing-invasion-of-ukraine

WEBINAR – Lawyers assist Ukraine – 20 April 2022 at 9.30 CET

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/ukrainian-human-rights-lawyer-on-what-constitutes-genocide/

https://www.facebook.com/UkrainianNationalBarAssociation

Outrage at Taliban takeover of Afghanistan bar association

02/12/21

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan’s Independent Bar Association (AIBA) has attracted strong condemnation from the global legal profession. According to the association’s exiled president, Rohullah Qarizada, on 23 November ’50 armed Taliban’ stormed a meeting of AIBA officials in their office in Kabul. 

Meanwhile a Taliban cabinet directive has stripped the AIBA of powers to license lawyers and required licence holders to re-apply to the Ministry of Justice. The government has taken over the association’s bar account and now has access to the personnel and professional records of 2,500 lawyers, as well as AIBA staff members and committee members. 

In a letter to the secretary general of the United Nations, the International Bar Association said today that the move ‘has completely compromised the independence of the legal profession in Afghanistan’. 

The AIBA was established as an independent organisation in 2008. 

The IBA’s letter requests that the UN add its voice to a public statement denouncing the violation of the legal profession’s independence. It says that the ramifications of the takeover for the rule of law, the administration of justice and the further contraction of the rights of women and girls ‘cannot be overestimated’.  

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/outrage-at-taliban-takeover-of-afghanistan-bar-association/5110804.article

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/12/afghanistan-lawyers-ask-taliban-cabinet-to-restore-independence-of-national-bar-association/

https://sofrep.com/news/more-than-100-ex-afghan-soldiers-are-dead-or-missing-as-the-taliban-give-false-assurances-of-their-safety/

Romania: Robert Roșu released from prison

23/11/21

Robert Roșu released from prison

Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the news that Robert Roșu, partner at the law firm Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii in Bucharest, will be released from Rahova prison today after his appeal was admitted by the High Court of Cassation.

On 17 December 2020, the High Court of Justice and Cassation of Romania found lawyer Robert Roșu guilty of participating in the formation of an organized criminal group and of complicity to abuse of office, and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. According to the information received, the criminal case against Mr. Roșu was most likely related to his professional activities in the ‘Băneasa Farm Case’ regarding the restitution of large plots of land in northern Bucharest to the heir of King Carol II of Romania. Mr. Roșu, as the latter’s legal representative, secured the restitution, as well as the restitution of of other property to different clients through administrative procedures. On 7 April 2021, four months after the decision was rendered by the High Court Cassation and Justice, the judgment was finally published and served upon Mr Roșu.

In June 2021, Lawyers for Lawyers and the Law Society of England and Wales expressed concern about his conviction, imprisonment, and alleged procedural irregularities such as lawyers being asked to testify as witnesses in the case in a joint letter. Moreover, in August 2021, Lawyers for Lawyers collected greetings cards from Dutch lawyers in support of Robert Roșu. The cards reached Robert Roșu and the greetings card action was picked up by the local press in Romania.

Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the decision of the High Court of Cassation to release Robert Roșu.

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/international-rule-of-law/intervention-letters/conviction-and-imprisonment-of-romanian-lawyer-robert-rosu

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/robert-rosu-continues-be-persecuted-simply-exercising-his-profession

The Philippines: NUPL laments gov’t ‘neglect’ in resolving lawyer killings

08/11/21

The Philippines: Lawyers' group condemns killing of Bukidnon colleague |  IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

An organization of lawyers has lamented the alleged government’s neglect in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in the killings of lawyers in the country.

In a statement, the Cebu Chapter of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) pointed out the killing on Nov. 6, 2018 of lawyer Benjamin Ramos, one of NUPL founders.

“Since then, more members of the legal profession have been killed under Duterte since 2016,” it said.

“Worse, more activists, peasants, urban poor leaders, and members of mass organizations have been murdered in broad daylight,” it added.

Ramos was shot dead by two unidentified men at the public plaza of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. He was the secretary general of the NUPL in Negros.

It also pointed out the last September of Juan Macabadbad, vice chairman of NUPL in Mindanao. He was killed in Surallah, South Cotabato.

“Our call to end the countless attacks against lawyers is stronger than ever,” NUPL-Cebu said.

[…]

https://manilastandard.net/mobile/article/368969

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/international-rule-of-law/news/joint-statements-to-the-un-human-rights-council

https://www.expatica.com/nl/uncategorized/tribunal-for-murdered-journalists-opens-in-the-hague-161072/

Afghanistan’s women judges are in hiding, fearing reprisal attacks from men they jailed

20/09/21

Nabila is one of hundreds of women judges in Afghanistan who have been told they can no longer work.

Tugging at the folds of the traditional hijab dress, two young sisters jostle and laugh to try to get their mother’s attention as she fries onions on the stove.

Along with their 6-month-old sister, the girls are oblivious to the threat they now face from the Taliban, Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Their mother, Nabila, is one of 250 female judges ordered not to return to work by a regime that doesn’t condone women in senior positions. CNN is only using Nabila’s first name for her own protection.

Nabila said she feared reprisals, not only from fundamentalists, but also the men she once jailed. When they came to power, the Taliban opened the gates of prisons, releasing thousands of convicted criminals.

“Now we do not feel safe; the same criminals are going after my own life, the lives of my family,” Nabila said. “God forbid if they seek revenge.”

After the Taliban takeover in mid-August, a few dozen women judges fled Afghanistan, and those left behind are now in hiding, according to Judge Vanessa Ruiz from the US-based International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).

All of the judges who worked under the former Afghan government — male and female — have been now replaced by Taliban appointees, two judges told CNN.

But Ruiz said women judges feared their gender made them particular targets for a regime that assigns greater value to men.

Many of the women judges presided over the worst cases of violence against women, including rape, murder and domestic abuse.”

They would be angry at any judge who sentenced them, but that a woman had official authority, and sat in judgment of a man, is rage of a completely different order,” said Ruiz.

The IAWJ and other organizations are racing to find a safe passage out for the women — but they say they need more help from the US and other Western nations, before it’s too late.

[…]

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/19/asia/afghanistan-women-judges-hnk-dst-intl/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/255446273141947

https://www.gofundme.com/f/AFGHANISTAN-CRISIS-RESPONSE-AND-EMERGENCY-RELIEF (URGENT, PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)

https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/trial-lawyer-group-backs-effort-bring-afghan-attorneys-us-2021-09-16/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/09/16/joint-statement-eu-cannot-shirk-its-responsibilities-towards-afghans-need

https://www.iustitia.pl/en/4244-a-fundraiser-for-afghan-judges

https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2021-09-15/debates/C2E85768-9013-4DB9-8BA0-676F78964521/AfghanRelocationsAndAssistancePolicy

https://www.thejournal.ie/taliban-school-girls-afghanistan-5552314-Sep2021/

https://www.jss.fr/Afghanistan__les_acteurs_du_droit_mobilises-2587.awp (FRANCAIS)

Afghan lawyers’ plea to UK: save us from clutches of the Taliban

06/09/21

Lawyers who worked under the previous regime in Afghanistan have told the Gazette directly of the fear they are now living with on a daily basis.

Since the Taliban seizure of power last month following the US and UK withdrawal, law firms have fielded numerous enquiries from people keen to get out of the country.

The Gazette has been contacted by lawyers in Afghanistan and concerned relatives in the UK asking for help and advice. These will be passed to groups working to provide immigration advice.

One UK-based family highlighted the situation of their relatives Mohammed Rasooli, a law professor and former legal adviser to the Afghan presidents and Anisa Rasooli, a judge and nominated for the first woman member of the Afghan Supreme Court. Other family members who worked as a parliamentary reporter and prosecutor in the Ministry of Justice are also still in Afghanistan.

The individuals are currently in hiding since the Taliban takeover and their UK-based relatives said: ‘We are desperate to get some help for our families in Kabul. I have registered their details with the [Foreign Office] and have reached my local MP, but unfortunately we have not had any response yet.’

A prosecutor still living in Afghanistan contacted the Gazette to say he and his family had been living in hiding since the day the Taliban took over his local province. Even before the seizure of power, he had received death threats to his home following the prosecution of Taliban suspects, with the letters stating that no-one would be spared. The lawyer said he had seen reports that the UK government had decided to save people who were in danger and pleaded for help from ministers to save his and his family’s life.

The Law Society has said it is ‘gravely concerned’ about the situation in Afghanistan and the perilous future of those who worked in the justice system under the old regime. There has been particular fear for the 270 women judges and 170 women lawyers and prosecutors based in the country, many of whom were not able to be evacuated before the allied troops left.

The Society said there needs to be a rethinking of the travel and entry requirements for Afghan citizens seeking safety in the UK.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/afghan-lawyers-plea-to-uk-save-us-from-clutches-of-the-taliban/5109683.article

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/05/1034536123/the-taliban-stopped-evacuees-kabul-americans-afghans-airport

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/06/as-the-taliban-overran-afghanistan-australia-told-asylum-seekers-they-should-expect-to-return

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/some-1000-people-awaiting-taliban-flight-clearance-mazar-i-sharif-new-york-times-2021-09-05/

https://www.euronews.com/2021/09/05/afghanistan-taliban-replace-colourful-murals-with-islamic-slogans

May be an image of ‎2 people, people standing, headscarf and ‎text that says "‎Without the presence and participation of women in the politics of the international community, the Taliban should not be recognized! امور در زنان فعال گیری وسهم حضور بدون نباید جهانی جامعه سیاست؛ و حکومتداری !بشناسد رسمیت به را طالبان‎"‎‎