Tag Archives: UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

The Path to Tunisia’s 2022 Constitutional Referendum

19/07/22

Tunisia is preparing for a constitutional referendum set to take place on July 25, 2022, exactly one year after the country’s President Kais Saied set the country on an alarming trajectory. This explainer unpacks how Saied has spent the last year dismantling the independence of the judicial and legislative branches and expanding his executive authority, and details how he threatens to make permanent these steps in a new constitution.

One year of Saied’s ‘state of exception’

On July 25, 2021, Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, suspended the activities of the Assembly of the Representatives, and lifted parliamentary immunity; on July 29, he issued Presidential Decree No. 2021-80 to formalize these steps. Thereafter, he stated that he would head the executive branch alongside a new prime minister, who was eventually announced to be Najla Bouden

On September 22, 2021, Saied declared that he would rule by decree virtue of Presidential Decree No. 2021-117 which suspended major constitutional articles and reaffirmed the previously-announced measures subverting parliamentary privileges. This step gave the president the right to rule by decree over various areas including the judiciary, the military, civil society associations, and political parties while exempting him from judicial review. Since then, Saied’s legislative and executive powers have continued to grow exponentially in the face of undermined oversight mechanisms.

These developments occurred as Saied planted the seeds for a “new political roadmap” that was rooted in a national narrative of fighting corruption and conspiracy, and holding “traitors” to account. As he did so, he declared that the 2014 constitution would no longer be valid and that the new roadmap would be based on “legal solutions” grounded in “the will and sovereignty of the Tunisian people.”

One of the steps to translate Saied’s vision into reality became the National Consultation Process, which took place between January 1 and March 20, 2022 and served as a stepping stone for the political and electoral reforms that were to come. The consultation proposed a series of questions, with specific pre-drafted answers regarding electoral, political, economic, educational, and social issues for eligible Tunisians to select from. Despite the fact that the consultation engaged only 508,000 participants, Saied declared the process a success and proceeded with his plan to implement its alleged input into next steps. Observers and experts critiqued the consultation for its low participation and methodology which resulted in unequal representation, particularly with regards to gender and region. Head of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi condemned the failure to inclusively involve national actors from the beginning of the consultation. In its latest urgent opinion, the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe that is composed of constitutional law experts, found fault in the president’s roadmap more generally and cast doubt over the possibility of arriving at a “constitutional synthesis” with a consultation that “ did not give rise to widespread popular support, as participation remained very little.” 

In a step that further ate away at checks and balances more generally, on February 12, 2022, Saied dissolved the Higher Judicial Council (HJC) via Decree No. 2022-11. The HJC had been promulgated in the 2014 constitution and was the highest judicial oversight body in the state. Saied’s decree replaced the HJC with a Provisional High Judicial Council, retaining the same composition of the HJC, though altering the number of judges and the appointment process, and empowering the president to act as a disciplinary power and request removal of members. These changes tightened the executive branch’s control over the judiciary and expanded the president’s powers and influence. Months later, Saied would amend Decree No. 2022-11 with Decree No. 2022-35 on June 1, 2022, giving him the power to dismiss judges if they harmed the independence or the integrity of the judiciary; the amendments paved the way for the sacking of 57 judges, per Presidential Order No. 315-2022

[…]

Key takeaways from the constitution

Consistent with the unilateral approach that Saied has taken in setting forward the political roadmap and constitutional drafting process detailed above, the latest version of the draft constitution that Tunisians are set to vote on incorporates Saied’s narrative into the preamble. It claims that July 25, 2021 was a “correction of the Revolution’s path and that of history,” and that it will enable the country to move into a “new phase in history”—an expression Saied has used multiple times in his remarks and rhetoric. The preamble refers to the national consultation process and inflates its legitimacy, stating that “hundreds of thousands of citizens” participated.

Most significantly, Saied’s draft constitution seeks to create what has been described as a “hyper-presidentialist” system, where the president has extensive executive and legislative authorities, with little checks over them. The draft grants the president executive powers found in presidential systems, while also affording him legislative powers typically enjoyed by the head of government in parliamentary systems. While Tunisia’s 2014 constitution distributed these powers between the head of government and the president in a hybrid presidential-parliamentary system, Saied’s draft seeks to concentrate them, not only making the president the most consequential actor in policymaking, but also making him omnipotent, in a manner similar to the 1959 constitution.

Saied’s draft eliminates parliament’s ability to vote to impeach the president prior to adjudication by the Constitutional Court, as had been set forth by the 2014 constitution. Moreover, while the government had previously been accountable to parliament under the 2014 constitution, this draft makes the government accountable to the president, who will also enjoy the authority to appoint and dismiss the head of government and other government ministers. The new draft keeps the infamous Article 80 of the 2014 constitution—which Saied relied on to declare emergency measures under a state of exception. However, the provision is now found in the form of Article 96, which eliminates the temporal deadline to lift these emergency measures and the Constitutional Court’s ability to rule on the validity of said-measures. In eliminating these safeguards, Saied makes the provision identical to Article 46 of the 1959 constitution and further expands the president’s authorities

Also similar to the 1959 constitution, Article 116 of the new draft stipulates that in case of a second vote of no-confidence against the government, the president has the right to accept the government’s resignation or dissolve one or both chambers of parliament. Although parliament in theory can still pass a vote of no-confidence against the government—albeit with difficulty as it requires a two-third majority of both chambers—its oversight power has been further constrained alongside the president’s expanded authority. 

In the new draft constitution, the president enjoys expansive legislative powers at the expense of a severely-weakened parliament. He has the authority to suggest draft bills, as well as the authority to issue decrees that enjoy the force of law during parliamentary recess periods or when parliament is dissolved. The draft stipulates that the president can also call for legislative and constitutional referendums without prior parliamentary approval. On the flip side, while parliament does enjoy the authority to draw up bills that are supported by a minimum of 10 MPs, it cannot pass legislation that touches on the president’s administrative powers or on financial issues. Important to note that until a sitting parliament is elected, Saied will continue to enjoy the legislative power that he has been exercising vigorously. 

While the new constitution establishes the National Assembly for Regions and Districts as the second chamber of parliament, it does away with an entire chapter on decentralization, previously present in the 2014 constitution and heralded at the time as an important success. The draft instead stipulates that local governance will further be expanded on in the law, leaving the matter outside of the constitution and raising concerns that the president may further weaken local powers, including through future amendments to the Local Authorities Code and the Electoral Law. 

The draft constitution also curtails the powers of the judiciary. It eliminates the single Higher Judicial Council that was elected and tasked to manage all types of judicial jurisdictions, and replaces it instead with three higher councils that will oversee each type of jurisdiction individually—the details of which will be left to the law; it does not guarantee their independence. Leaving this to the law, rather than protecting judicial independence at the constitutional level, creates concern that the judiciary’s role will be even further weakened down the line and its independence, further compromised. The draft dedicates a chapter to the Constitutional Court, separating it from that of the remainder of the judiciary, and changes its composition. Unlike the 2014 constitution, under which the Constitutional Court was selected by the Higher Judicial Council, parliament, and the president and was composed of judges and professors from different fields, the draft creates a court composed only of appointed judges based on seniority.

The draft constitution does away with a number of independent entities created by the 2014 constitution to act as safeguards for rights and freedom by establishing additional oversight over state institutions. The draft keeps only the Independent High Authority for Elections, albeit without specifying whether its members will be elected by parliament as had previously been the case. Though the draft does recognize and protect individual rights and freedoms, an unusually-constructed Article 5 sets forth the state as the sole entity responsible “to work, in the context of a democratic system, to fulfill the “maqasid [purposes] of Islam,” raising concerns about the state’s role in interpreting religion and on how this will manifest in practice. Civil society organizations have also raised concerns about the draft’s failure to explicitly prohibit the military trial of civilians. 

Ultimately, Saied’s constitution threatens to enshrine a system of governance in which the president enjoys expansive and in many cases, unchecked authorities, while the legislature and judiciary become seriously constrained, functioning with limited, if any, independence and autonomy. The draft is a reflection of a process that has lacked transparency, inclusivity, and accountability since day one and that threatens to formalize the actions that were taken in an alleged “state of exception,” grounding Tunisia and the Tunisian people further in an alarming and undemocratic pathway.

https://www.dw.com/en/tunisia-votes-on-problematic-new-constitution/a-62556649

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/23/popular-march-against-tunisias-new-constitution

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/07/tunisia-presidential-decrees-undermine-judicial-independence-and-access

(SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/18/tunisia-president-kais-saied-one-man-rule/

https://pomed.org/snapshot-yea-or-stay-away-kais-saieds-autocratic-referendum/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/22/opponents-of-tunisias-new-referendum-unable-to-unite-before-vote

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2022/07/21/tunisias-president-is-pushing-an-ominous-constitution

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/tunisia-unseco-envoy-sacked-over-opposing-judges-dismissal

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2207/S00128/tunisia-presidential-decrees-undermine-judicial-independence-and-access-to-justice-says-un-expert.htm

https://www.ohchr.org/fr/press-releases/2022/07/tunisia-presidential-decrees-undermine-judicial-independence-and-access (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/tunisie-des-arrestations-musclees-lors-d-une-manifestation-anti-saied-20220722

https://www.lepoint.fr/afrique/tunisie-le-pharaon-de-carthage-24-07-2022-2484212_3826.php

https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/tunisie-un-apres-le-coup-de-force-du-25-juillet-kais-saied-perd-de-plus-en-plus-d-allies

(SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

https://www.nouvelobs.com/monde/20220722.OBS61200/tunisie-kais-saied-ou-la-derive-autoritaire-d-un-president.html

https://www.tunisienumerique.com/limogeage-de-57-magistrats-anas-hmadi-appelle-kais-saied-a-revenir-sur-sa-decision-video/

https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/referendum-en-tunisie-que-prevoit-le-projet-de-constitution-du-president-kais-saied-465381?amp

https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/230722/en-tunisie-le-referendum-sur-la-constitution-revele-la-fragilite-de-la-democratie

https://arabic.euronews.com/2022/06/10/tunisia-judges-threaten-extend-strike-second-week-dismissal (ARABIC)

International Lawyers Form Alliance to Protect Rule of Law in Mexico and US

14/07/22

Two legal groups—one in Mexico and the other in the United States—have agreed to work together to protect the rule of law in both countries.

The New York City Bar Association’s Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and the Mexican Bar Foundation have agreed to form a joint committee that will focus on strengthening judicial and democratic institutions in both countries.

“The rule of law is suffering today in Mexico,” said Enrique González Calvillo, chair of the board of trustees at the Mexican Bar Foundation and founding partner at González Calvillo Abogados, a large Mexican law firm. “The Vance Center’s support and experience will be absolutely key to us.”

Inaugural members of the joint committee include Todd Crider, partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Antonia Stolper, of counsel at Shearman & Sterling. Both attorneys have focused on Latin America throughout their careers.

Mexican lawyers are engaged in a delicate dance to preserve the independence of the judiciary under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose six-year term began in late 2018.

The president has labeled Mexican lawyers who defend international companies “traitors” and has accused Mexico’s judicial branch of being at the service of private interests.

Critics say López Obrador has also stacked the Supreme Court with supporters while working to discredit other democratic institutions that provide much-needed checks and balances in a country with a long tradition of authoritarianism.

“Weakened rule of law in Mexico will also affect the United States, as an erosion of our institutions would affect Mexico,” said Simpson Thacher’s Crider.

[…]

https://www.law.com/international-edition/2022/06/14/international-lawyers-form-alliance-to-protect-rule-of-law-in-mexico-and-us/?slreturn=20220614042657

https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/vance-center-for-international-justice-committee

UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers (A/HRC/50/L.3)

07/07/22

[…]

Concerning the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers: participation of women in the administration of justice, the Council called upon all States to guarantee the independence of judges and lawyers and the objectivity and impartiality of prosecutors, and to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of all women at all levels of the administration of justice. The Council called upon Governments to respond favourably to the requests of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to visit their country, and to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur in investigations, follow-up procedures and the implementation of his or her recommendations.

[…]

In a resolution (A/HRC/50/L.3) on the Independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers: participation of women in the administration of justice , adopted without a vote (as orally revised), the Council calls upon all States to guarantee the independence of judges and lawyers and the objectivity and impartiality of prosecutors, and to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of all women at all levels of the administration of justice; calls upon Governments to respond favourably to the requests of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to visit their country, and to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur in investigations, follow-up procedures and the implementation of his or her recommendations.

[…]

https://www.ungeneva.org/en/news-media/meeting-summary/2022/07/morning-human-rights-council-adopts-nine-resolutions-extends

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/07/human-rights-council-adopts-nine-resolutions-extends-mandates-eritrea

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/93/PDF/G2239293.pdf?OpenElement

https://www.ungeneva.org/fr/news-media/meeting-summary/2022/07/morning-human-rights-council-adopts-nine-resolutions-extends (FRANCAIS)

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/94/PDF/G2239294.pdf?OpenElement

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/96/PDF/G2239296.pdf?OpenElement (ESPANOL)

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/91/PDF/G2239291.pdf?OpenElement (ARABIC)

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/92/PDF/G2239292.pdf?OpenElement (CHINESE)

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/392/95/PDF/G2239295.pdf?OpenElement (RUSSIAN)

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

Joint statement: 10 years since the unjust arrest of four lawyers at the UAE 94 trial

30/06/22

This year marks ten years since the arrest of four lawyers at the mass “UAE 94” trial that saw the unjust imprisonment of dozens of government critics and reform activists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Having completed their prison sentences, these lawyers are set to be released either this year or next year. However, Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and the International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates (ICFUAE) are concerned that the lawyers might be kept in detention centres instead under a vaguely worded counterterrorism law.

In July 2013, a group of 69 lawyers, human rights defenders and intellectuals were sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to overthrow the government. This event is referred to as the “UAE 94” trial. Among those prosecuted in this mass unfair trial are four UAE lawyers:

Dr. Al-Roken is well-known for defending victims of human rights violations in the UAE. He defended some members of the “UAE 5”, five individuals sentenced to two to three years’ imprisonment in 2012 for having expressed criticism of government policies. In recognition of his courageous human rights work, Dr. Al-Roken was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2017 Lawyers for Lawyers Award.

Al-Roken was arrested on 17 July 2012, after calling for political reforms in the country and signing an online petition calling for democratic reforms in March 2011. On 2 July 2013, Dr. Al-Roken was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with additional administrative control measures and was prohibited from practicing his profession as a lawyer. Following his arrest, Dr. Al-Roken was detained in solitary confinement at an undisclosed location for eight months, without access to his lawyer and his family.

Dr. Mohamed al-Mansoori is a prominent lawyer working on human rights issues and was the former head of the United Arab Emirates Jurists’ Association board, which was dissolved by the authorities in 2011. He was arrested on 16 July 2012 after signing an online petition calling for democratic reforms. On 2 July 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Dr. Al-Mansoori was not allowed to contact his family for over a year.

[…]

China: Unfair trials of prominent activists an attack of freedom of association

21/06/22

Two Chinese human rights activists are set to face grossly unfair trials behind closed doors this week after being targeted and tortured due to their peaceful work, Amnesty International said today.

Legal scholar Xu Zhiyong and human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi will be in court this Wednesday and Thursday respectively, facing spurious charges of “subverting state power”.

“The Chinese authorities have targeted Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi not because they committed any internationally recognized crime, but simply because they hold views the government does not like. These unfair trials are an egregious attack on their human rights,” said Amnesty International’s China Campaigner Gwen Lee.

“Having faced torture and other ill-treatment during their arbitrary detention, Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi now face being sentenced to years behind bars in secretive trials that have been rigged from the start.”

Xu and Ding are both prominent members of the New Citizens’ Movement, a loose network of activists founded by Xu in 2012 to promote government transparency and expose corruption.

They were among dozens of lawyers and activists targeted after attending an informal gathering held in Xiamen, a city on China’s southeast coast, in December 2019, in which they discussed the civil society situation and current affairs in China.

Later that month, police across the country began summoning or detaining participants in the Xiamen gathering.

Tortured in a “tiger chair”

Ding was held incommunicado in “residential surveillance at a designated location” for more than a year after being taken away on 26 December 2019.

Friends of Xu Zhiyong say he went into hiding after the meeting in December 2019. In early February 2020, Xu criticized President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and called on him to resign.

[…]

https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/thematic-reports/ahrc5036-protection-lawyers-against-undue-interference-free-and

https://independence-judges-lawyers.org/reports/protection-of-lawyers-against-undue-interference-in-the-free-and-independent-exercise-of-the-legal-profession/ (FRANCAIS/ARABIC/CHINESE/RUSSIAN)

Legal profession under attack worldwide, with lawyers in Turkey suffering the brunt of it

17/06/22

The legal profession plays a central role in the administration of justice and the defense of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. For instance, lawyers ensure that the right to a fair trial is observed in judicial procedures and help legal and real persons effectively exercise their rights and freedoms. In countless instances, lawyers have played a crucial role in the conduct of free and fair elections and by so doing help protect democracy. However, nowadays, lawyers are increasingly the target of attack both individually and institutionally.

According to a new report by UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán that is being presented to the 50th Human Rights Council to be held in Geneva between June 13 and July 8, there is a global increase in practices that undermine, limit, restrict and hinder the practice of law. The report is mainly based on inputs/submissions made by bar associations and human rights NGOs in response to a call circulated in December 2021 by the UN special rapporteur and states that lawyers whose activities are focused on the fight against corruption, the defense of human rights or the protection of groups in vulnerable situations are especially under attack.

The report identifies trends and patterns of undue interference and attack on the legal profession and says: “Those who defend human rights in cases related to national security or corruption are in a particularly sensitive situation. Another issue is the arbitrary identification of the lawyer with his client.” The special rapporteur said he received information indicating that between 2010 and 2020, more than 2,500 lawyers were killed, detained or kidnapped in various regions of the world.

Of course, Turkey is one of most notorious countries for attacks on lawyers. The UN report, referring to The Arrested Lawyers Initiative reports, states that “Between 2016 and 2022, more than 1,600 lawyers were prosecuted and 615 were placed in pretrial detention. A total of 474 lawyers have been sentenced to 2,966 years of imprisonment on the grounds of membership in a ‘terrorist organization’.”

[…]

https://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-gezi-seven-must-be-freed/

https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-judicial-system/anatomy-turkish-judges-service-executive-power-arrested-lawyers-initiative

Protection of lawyers against undue interference in the free and independent exercise of the legal profession – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán (A/HRC/50/36) [EN/AR/RU/ZH]

26/05/22

Human Rights Council
Fiftieth session
13 June–8 July 2022
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Summary

In the present report, which is being submitted pursuant to resolution 44/8, the Special Rapporteur addresses the issue of the protection of persons who practise law, since 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. The Special Rapporteur describes the international and regional standards that are aimed at protecting the legal profession.

The Special Rapporteur notes with concern a global increase in practices that undermine, limit, restrict and hinder the practice of law. This is especially true for lawyers whose activities are focused on the fight against corruption, the defence of human rights or the protection of groups in vulnerable situations.

In his report, the Special Rapporteur identifies trends and patterns of interference in and attacks on the legal profession. He also describes the means used to carry out such attacks, including interference in bar associations, legislation, physical and psychological abuse of lawyers and their families, defamation in the media and in social media, arbitrary disciplinary proceedings, use of the judicial system and the police corps. The Special Rapporteur has also identified violations of professional secrecy, as well as searches of the offices of legal professionals and seizure of their property.

[…]

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/protection-lawyers-against-undue-interference-free-and-independent-exercise-legal-profession-report-special-rapporteur-independence-judges-and-lawyers-diego-garcia-sayan-ahrc5036-enarruzh

https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/thematic-reports/ahrc5036-protection-lawyers-against-undue-interference-free-and

https://www.ohchr.org/en/calls-for-input/calls-input/2022/call-input-protection-lawyers

https://menarights.org/en/articles/study-protection-lawyers-against-undue-interference-lebanon

European Parliament condemned the crackdown on lawyers in Turkey and call for the release of imprisoned lawyers

08/02/22

On Tuesday, 7 June 2022, the European Parliament adopted 2021 Report on Turkey by 448 votes in favour, 67 against and 107 abstentions. MEPs warn that in spite of Turkey’s repeated statements that it aims to become an EU member, over the past two years the country has consistently gone back on its commitments in relation to the accession process.

The report points to the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey. MEPs regret the sustained legal and administrative pressure on civil society and human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.

The European Parliament particularly condemned continuing crackdown on lawyers. MEP said:

the Parliament “is appalled by reports of a pattern of persecution of lawyers representing individuals accused of terrorism whereby the lawyers were prosecuted for the same crime as that attributed to their client, or a related crime, in a context where this constituted a clear obstacle to the enjoyment of the right to a fair trial and access to justice.”

[…]

https://m.bianet.org/english/law/261897-pace-rapporteurs-to-visit-turkey-for-kavala-case

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/turquie-le-parlement-europeen-critique-la-degradation-de-l-etat-de-droit-20220607 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/fr/press-room/20220603IPR32136/la-turquie-continue-de-s-eloigner-des-valeurs-et-normes-de-l-ue

Colombia: Day of the Endangered Lawyer – select tweets

24/01/22

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