Tag Archives: UK

UK: Iraq human rights lawyer Phil Shiner declared bankrupt

March 17, 2017

Lawyer Phil Shiner outside the high court in London.

Struck-off solicitor’s insolvency declaration will deprive MoD of opportunity to recover multimillion-pound sum it seeks

The campaigning human rights lawyer Phil Shiner, who was struck off as a solicitor for pursuing fictitious Iraqi compensation claims against the Ministry of Defence, has been declared bankrupt.

The Insolvency Service website states the 60-year-old, who ran the firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) in Birmingham, was made bankrupt on Tuesday.

The declaration of insolvency will deprive the MoD of an opportunity to recover any of the millions of pounds it maintains it is entitled to claim from Shiner.

The former solicitor could not afford to retain lawyers to represent him at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London last month. He did not attend and was not represented at the hearing. He also told the tribunal that he was unwell.

Shiner was found guilty of multiple professional misconduct charges, including dishonesty and lack of integrity in bringing murder and torture claims in relation to the “Battle of Danny Boy” near Amara in 2004.




Turkey: Joint letter of 8 UK and Irish Bars on arrested lawyers and judges

March 16, 2017


Image may contain: 108 people

352 lawyers were arrested since July 15, 2016

( Total 3⃣5⃣6⃣ arrested and 8⃣8⃣7⃣ under prosecution.)

UN/UK/The Netherlands: UN Side Event “The Independence of the Legal Profession”

LSG logo

On 16th March 2017, the Law Society of England and Wales, in partnership with Lawyers for Lawyers, is organising a UN side event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The side event will focus on the topic of the independence of the legal profession worldwide. Lawyers from Turkey, Cameroon, and Azerbaijan will share their experiences, obstacles faced by members of  the legal profession in their respective countries, and possible ways to improve the safety of lawyers who work in challenging contexts.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, will be the keynote speaker.

To register to this event or for more information, please find the relevant contacts in the attached leaflet.

The side event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.



UK: Phil Shiner: Iraq human rights lawyer struck off over misconduct

February 2, 2017

Phil Shiner

The campaigning human rights lawyer Phil Shiner has been struck off as a solicitor after multiple professional misconduct charges were found proved against him, including dishonesty and lack of integrity.

The decision, made in his absence on Thursday, followed a two-day hearing at the solicitors disciplinary tribunal in central London.

Shiner was found guilty of 22 misconduct charges, several involving dishonesty. The tribunal found them proved to the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt. Two other charges were left to lie on the file.

Shiner was also ordered to pay for the full costs of the prosecution, starting with an interim downpayment of £250,000.

Shiner was also ordered to pay for the full costs of the prosecution, starting with an interim downpayment of £250,000.

The Birmingham lawyer led the pursuit of legal claims against British troops for their treatment of Iraqi detainees after the 2003 invasion.

Earlier courtroom victories over the case of Baha Mousa were followed by controversy around separate allegations, the most serious of which turned out to be wholly untrue.

Shiner claimed that UK soldiers had captured, tortured and murdered innocent Iraqi civilians after the so-called Battle of Danny Boy near Basra in 2004.





Zambia/UK: IBAHRI concerned by arrest of human rights lawyers in Zambia

January 30, 2017

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute is concerned by the recent arrest of human rights lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia. Mr Holland, a lawyer with London-based law firm Leigh Day, was escorted to Chingola Central Police Station and detained without charge after conducting meetings with clients of a class action lawsuit in Zambia on Tuesday 10 January.

Mr Holland was meeting with clients from village communities regarding a lawsuit filed by 1,800 Zambian villagers against UK-based mining multinational Vedanta Resources and its Zambia-based subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Both companies have been accused by villagers of being responsible for polluting their water sources and farm land, resulting in illness, death and low crop yields.

Mr Holland was initially detained under the Public Order Act which prohibits meetings of more than three people without a police permit. However, the very nature of Mr Holland’s work – representing 1,800 villagers with limited access to alternative means of communication – requires that he update his clients via group meetings involving around 100 to 150 people at a time.

After being detained for four hours, Mr Holland was informed that he was instead charged under the Penal Code Act for Unlawful Assembly. Upon being offered to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanour and a fine if he agreed to the offence, Mr Holland accepted and was released.

The Commanding Officer of the Police Station informed Mr Holland that he would have to seek a police permit before meeting with his clients in future. In order for Mr Holland to consult his clients the next day he was required to not only request a permit, but also consent to the presence of an undercover armed police officer at the meetings.





Turkey/UK: Bar Human Rights Committee and Bar Council urge Theresa May to raise Turkish human rights concerns in Erdoğan meeting

January 27, 2017

The Bar Human Rights Committee and the Bar Council have today urged Prime Minister Theresa May to address ongoing human rights violations in Turkey when she meets with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, BHRC and the Bar Council highlight the systematic persecution of lawyers and judges in Turkey, particularly in the months following the unsuccessful coup of July 15th 2016.

The letter is also critical of the the imprisonment of elected representatives, the suppression of free speech and the ongoing violence against South-East Turkey’s Kurdish minority. The Bar Human Rights Committee and the Bar Council describe the Turkish government’s actions as “an egregious attack on democracy itself”.

Chairwoman of BHRC, Kirsty Brimelow QC said:

“Turkey’s massive and disproportionate response to the attempted 2016 coup is now itself subverting the very same democratic values its government should be seeking to uphold.

“We hope the Prime Minister will agree that the battle against terrorism in Turkey, and indeed everywhere, is most effectively conducted while fully upholding human rights. We urge her to share this view with President Erdoğan when they meet”

Day of the Endangered Lawyer/China: In solidarity with those at risk

January 24, 2017

Lawyers across the world run the risk of harassment, imprisonment and even murder just for doing their jobs, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as it marked 24 January: the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

This annual expression of solidarity is recognition of the dangers many lawyers face as they work to uphold and protect fundamental rights.

Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “Today is a chance to reflect on the importance of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession – essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.

“Lawyers must be allowed to carry out their professional duties without interference and should never be identified with their clients or clients’ causes.”

The country focus for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2017 is China.

Robert Bourns added: “The Law Society stands in solidarity with legal professionals around the world. We will continue to fight to ensure the survival of strong, vibrant justice systems everywhere.”