Tag Archives: Scotland

USA: Statement of ABA President Reginald Turner Re: Afghanistan


The American Bar Association is deeply saddened and concerned about the demise of the rule of law in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the Afghan government and society.

We call on the United States and the rest of the international community to ensure the safety of the many people within Afghanistan who have worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to establish democracy and respect for the rule of law and human rights, including the judges, lawyers and law students who share our profession.

The ABA and all those committed to the rule of law condemn recent events that threaten the lives and liberty of millions of Afghanis.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.





https://www.avocatparis.org/afghanistan-le-barreau-de-paris-appelle-levacuation-des-civils-risque-pour-garantir-leur-protection (FRANCAIS)

UK: Scottish advocates accuse Boris Johnson of undermining rule of law


Boris Johnson has been rebuked for his comments on "left wing" lawyers.

Boris Johnson’s comments on “left-wing criminal justice lawyers” is part of a strategy to undermine the rule of law in the UK, the Faculty of Advocates has claimed.

In an unusually outspoken move, the organisation has rebuked the Prime Minister for “political posturing” and a “baseless mischaracterisation” of lawyers, which it said was “damaging to the rule of law”.

Mr Johnson, who has previously dismissed human rights lawyers also as “lefty”, said on Wednesday that “left-wing criminal justice lawyers act against the public interest”.

Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Johnson was asked to respond to comments by Labour party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, that the Conservatives had become the party of crime and disorder.

He said: “When you look at Labour, you see a party that voted consistently against tougher sentences for serious sexual violent offenders. The Labour opposition has consistently taken the side of, I’m afraid, left-wing criminal justice lawyers against, I believe, the interests of the public.”

His comments came nearly a year after he told the Conservative Party conference the criminal justice system was being hamstrung by “lefty human rights lawyers”.

In a statement on its website, the Faculty of Advocates, which regulates the training and professional practice, conduct and discipline of advocates in Scotland, said it “deplores” Mr Johnson’s comments.

The body said: “These comments go hand-in-hand with recent pronouncements by the home secretary and appear to be part of a strategy to undermine the rule of law.






Burma/UK: Arbitrary arrest, detention and alleged enforced disappearance of lawyers in Myanmar


Myanmar Protests

Who we wrote to

We wrote to the Ambassador of Myanmar in the United Kingdom

What’s the issue

We’re concerned about the military coup that took place in Myanmar and the violent repression of protesters, including through the firing of live ammunition which has resulted in numerous casualties.

These actions represent serious human rights abuses. We’re also alarmed by accounts of arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as alleged enforced disappearances of lawyers.

We’re also alarmed about reports of ongoing intimidation and harassment of lawyers, as well as lawyers being prevented from providing legal assistance to detained protesters.

These actions deprive the citizens of Myanmar of their access to justice, violate international fair trial guarantees – including the right to have legal representation of one’s own choosing – and the principle of independence of the legal profession. These rights and principles are cornerstones of the rule of law and must be upheld.

We’re particularly concerned about the following cases:





Click to access EN_HRL_20210305_Myanmar_Situation-in-Myanmar-lawyers-under-threats.pdf



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Burma: Over 40 Mandalay lawyers face prosecutions for joining Myanmar protests


Lawsuits are reportedly underway against about 40 lawyers who staged an anti-coup protest in Mandalay city under Section 505 (b) of the penal code of Myanmar, according to sources from the legal community.

Complaints are being filed at courts to charge the lawyers with sedition for their participation in the protests against the military coup on Feb 1.

“We heard that complaints have been lodged to Chanayethazan Township Court to sue the 40 lawyers under Section 505 (b) of the penal code. I don’t know if I am included or not, ” said a local advocate in Mandalay.

Sources from the judicial circle also say that other township courts are receiving complaints to sue the lawyers who joined the ongoing protests under section 505 (b) and Section 188, which is related to violating Section 144. –






Turkey/UK/Scotland: Detained lawyer & academic released by Istanbul court today

September 18, 2018

Hanifi Barış hocamız için tahliye kararı verildi.

Verdict: The judge has ordered the release of our colleague Hanifi Barış.

#HanifiBarışaÖzgürlük #FreedomForHanifiBarış #FreeHanifi#HandsOffOurColleagues

(The Free Hanifi Bariş Campaign Facebook, 18/09/18)








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https://www.evrensel.net/haber/361617/2-baris-akademisyenine-1er-yil-3er-ay-hapis-cezasi-verildi (TURKCE)

http://www.gaziantephaberler.com/haber/iki-baris-akademisyenine-hapis-cezasi-verildi-haberi-41209.html (TURKCE)

http://gazetekarinca.com/2018/09/baris-bildirisi-imzacisi-avukat-hanifi-barisa-tahliye/ (TURKCE)

https://www.alevinet.com/2018/09/18/baris-akademisyenlerinin-durusmalari-goruldu/ (TURKCE)

https://medyascope.tv/2018/09/18/baris-imzacisi-hanifi-baris-hakkinda-tahliye-karari-verildi/ (TURKCE)

http://bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/200936-hanifi-baris-tutuksuz-yargilanmak-uzere-serbest-birakildi (TURKCE)

UK/Scotland: One in three lawyers attacked or threatened, suggests survey

September 17, 2018

Fist being stopped by hand

One in three Scottish solicitors say they have been victims of violence or threatening behaviour in connection with their work.

Law Society of Scotland research revealed almost all of the incidents took place within solicitors’ offices or in a court or tribunal building.

The survey, the first of its kind in Scotland, suggested 12% of solicitors who responded had experienced violence.

About 60% reported threatening conduct or communications.

The survey heard from more than 1,100 solicitors.

It found that clients or former clients – or clients of the opposing party’s solicitor – accounted for 60% of incidents.

Criminal defence lawyers were most at risk, but those dealing with sensitive cases such as divorce or child custody had also been targeted.








Turkey/UK/Scotland: Trial of detained lawyer & academic Hanifi Baris September 18th

September 14, 2018

On July 4th, 2018, Hanifi Barış (signatory of the Peace Petition, 11st of January, 2016, lawyer and academic) reported to Bakırköy Police station in Istanbul, responding to a request that he give a statement about his social media accounts. He was arrested that day, and charged with “posting items of criminal content” on his social media accounts. The alleged criminal behaviour for which Hanifi Barış was arrested amounts to sharing news articles from Turkish and international media sources, including websites such as The Guardian and Foreign Policy, to which he did not add any of his own commentary. On the 23rd of July, a judge for Istanbul’s High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against Hanifi and re-affirmed his pre-trial detention. He has been held since then, at least part of that time in solitary confinement.

Hanifi Barış’s colleagues from the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, Aberdeen/Scotland, where he has done his PhD,  have joined with human rights organisations, and Hanifi Barış’s Turkish colleagues, many of them signatories of the Academics for Peace Declaration, “We will not be party to this crime!” to protest his unjust detention. They have circulated a petition demanding his immediate release, which has received almost 5,000 signatures.

His case has drawn international scrutiny. Human rights defenders such as Scholars at RiskFrontline DefendersIndex on Censorship have reported on his arrest and pending trial.

One of his colleagues was quoted by the Index on Censorship describing Hanifi Barış as “the kind of scholar who could find common ground with academics from almost any perspective: always good-natured, cheerful and unfailingly kind to everyone he interacted with.”

Hanifi Barış’s first hearing is scheduled for September 18th at the Çağlayan Courthouse. International observers are invited to monitor this hearing, with the hope that he will be immediately released and cleared of these unfounded accusations.

Please spread our word #FreeHanifi #HanifiyeÖzgürlük, follow @freehanifi on the social media and keep following his first trial where we demand his immediate release!

Academics for Peace, Turkey and elsewhere

For legal details of the ongoing Academics4Peace trials:

 https://afp.hypotheses.org/ and https://solidarite-up.org/

Social Media:



fb: barisakademik

Hanifi Baris

https://www.change.org/p/turkish-government-we-demand-the-immediate-release-of-university-of-aberdeen-lawyer-dr-hanifi-bari%C5%9F (SIGN THE URGENT PETITION!)







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Turkey/UK/Scotland: Imprisoned Aberdeen University graduate shares letter of thanks

September 13, 2018

Imprisoned Aberdeen University graduate Hanifi Baris has written a letter of thanks to his supporters across the world.

Mr Baris, who graduated last year, has been confined in a Turkish jail since July, charged with “posting items of criminal content” on his social media accounts.

Turkish news outlet Bianet reported that the “content” was a news report about the Kurdistan Regional Government, and confirmed he had been charged with “propagandising for a terrorist organisation.”

In a letter addressed to friends and colleagues, dated September 11, he shared his thanks.

“[Your support] has been the greatest source of my strength and resilience in here,” Mr Baris wrote.

“Please forgive me for not being able to write to all of you separately, for the time I spend reading and answering your messages is very limited.

“I hope I will make it up to you when – hopefully not ‘if’ – I am out of here.”

Mr Baris had been scheduled to return to Aberdeeen last week as a key-note speaker in a conference at the university’s Centre for Citizenship, Civic Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL).

In his letter, he lamented the fact he was unable to participate or listen to “inspiring talks” from Aberdeen students.

CISRUL Director, Trevor Stack, said he was “very concerned” about Baris’s situation.



Hanifi Baris





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New message of solidarity from Hanifi for you all! Court case confirmed for next Tuesday 18 September at 10.30 a.m. Thank you everyone for such a wonderful display of support. Let’s not give up hope just yet!

(The Free Hanifi Bariş Campaign Facebook, 12/09/18)

Turkey/UK/Scotland: Academic’s indictment reflects the Turkish government’s criminalisation of free speech

September 4, 2018

Despite the lifting of the state of emergency in July, arbitrary arrests and human rights violations continue.

Hanifi Barış

Hanifi Barış, an outspoken Kurdish academic and lawyer, has been imprisoned by Turkish authorities since 4 July 2018. His detention for sharing press articles on social media is another demonstration of the repeated attacks against freedom of expression and critical opinions in Turkey.

Hanifi Barış obtained his Ph.D from the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law at the University of Aberdeen in 2017. Interested in political theory and human rights, he has published several articles and book chapters on Kurdish politics. After completing his dissertation, Barış moved back to Turkey and settled in Istanbul, where he started working as a lawyer. In his roles as an academic and a lawyer, Barış stood out as an ardent defender of human rights. In 2012, he drew public attention for representing a famous conscientious objector and defending his client’s rights to answer to the court in Kurdish. In January 2016, he was one of the Academics for Peace who signed the petition “We will not be a party to this crime”, which denounced the state-sanctioned violence in the Kurdish regions and called on the Turkish government to re-establish peace negotiations.

On 3 July, Barış received a call from Istanbul Bakırköy Police station, asking him to give a statement about his social media posts. The next day, after giving his statement to the police, he was referred to the court, where the prosecutor requested his arrest. He was accused of producing “terrorist propaganda” on the ground of article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law no 3713. Barış had shared news articles and commentaries from international and local media on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. It is worth emphasising that he did not add any of his own commentary on the posts. At the court’s request Barış was sent to prison on the same day. Since then, the appeals of his lawyer, Mehmet Doğan, for his release pending trial have been repeatedly denied. Even worse, when Barış asked to be moved to another dormitory in Silivri Prison, he was sent to an individual cell and remained in solitary confinement for 12 days.

On 23 July 2018, İstanbul’s 29th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against Barış and re-affirmed his pre-trial detention. The Court based its decision on an ongoing assessment of digital materials that had been supposedly confiscated during an alleged search of his residence and belongings. However, no such search ever took place. This blatant disregard for the rule of law and due process casts serious doubts on Barış’s prospect for a fair trial, highlighting Turkey’s systematic use of pre-trial detention as a means of intimidation.








Hanifi Baris



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Fantastic initiative today from Barış İçin Akademisyenler / Academics for Peace for our#FreeHanifi #HanifiyeÖzgürlük campaign: “Our hearings have resumed with the start of the legal year: We gathered once again at the Çağlayan Court House to demand the release of our colleague#HanifiBarış, student #BerkayUstabaş and condemn attacks on the #SaturdayMothers and the#VigilforConscienceandJustice!”

(The Free Hanifi Bariş Campaign Facebook, 5/9/18)

UK/Scotland: Scots lawyers reveal fears of violence after solicitor stabbing and survey launched

August 19, 2018

SCOTLAND’S lawyers have been urged to report violent attacks by clients in an anonymous survey commissioned by the Law Society of Scotlandfollowing a brutal and targeted attack on a solicitor outside Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Joseph Shields was slashed across the face and body and his injuries were so severe he will be scarred for life. The 63-year-old criminal defence lawyer, who is a partner at Glasgow firm Gallen and Co, has yet to return to work.

This week the Law Society of Scotland launched a survey of legal professionals which will ask them to detail “incidents of violent or threatening behaviour” amid growing concerns about an increase in attacks.

Chief executive Lorna Jack said: “It is essential that people are safe while doing their jobs. Solicitors help people, often at extremely difficult times in their lives, and it’s important they can do this without fear or favour.

“This survey is completely anonymous and will help us to build a more comprehensive understanding of the risks faced by the Scottish legal community. I would encourage members of the profession to take part and share their experiences.”