Tag Archives: UN

UN/ICJ: UN Human Rights Council adopts resolutions on independence of judges & lawyers

June 22, 2017

The ICJ welcomes the adoption today, by consensus, of two UN Human Rights Council resolutions on the independence of judges & lawyers.

The Human Rights Council adopted the biannual resolution on independence of judges and lawyers, including a number of new elements on the theme of independence of lawyers and the legal profession. In particular, the resolution highlights the ongoing threats against and interference with the independence of lawyers and the ability of lawyers to fulfil their professional functions, including in relation to human rights.

The resolution reaffirms and builds on the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

The Human Rights Council also unanimously renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers for a further period of three years.

The unofficial text of the two resolutions are available in PDF format below:


Turkey: UN judge convicted in Turkey resumes trial work remotely after passport is forfeit

June 19, 2017

Image result for judge aydin sefa akay

A UN judge found guilty in his native Turkey of membership of a terrorist organisation has resumed work on a stalled Rwanda genocide appeal while waiting for his own appeal to be heard.

Judge Aydin Sefa Akay, who sits at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, was sentenced to seven years and six months last week for membership of the ‘Gulenist Terrorist Organisation’ (FETO). FETO’s existence is insisted on by Turkish officials. He has been provisionally released on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.

Akay’s passport is ‘forfeit’ and he may not leave Turkey, but now that the UN court and its judges are in direct contact with Akay, it has resumed its work on Augustin Ngirabatware’s appeal against a 30-sentence for crimes that include organisation of a genocide.

The court’s first decision since Akay’s detention last September was to grant the defence’s request for a review of the original judgment. A spokesperson for the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) told the Gazette: ‘The mechanism’s understanding is that Judge Akay is confined to Turkey but… he has confirmed his ability and willingness to exercise his judicial functions in the Ngirabatware case.’

All of the judges on the bench, the spokesperson added, are currently carrying out their duties remotely apart from the president, judge Theodore Meron. Following Akay’s release from detention Meron consulted with Judge Akay, who confirmed his ability and willingness to exercise his judicial functions.





June 15, 2017

Judge Aydin Sefa Akay, a Judge of the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, was yesterday convicted by a Turkish criminal court of first instance in Ankara on a single charge of being a member of a terrorist organization, FETO. He was sentenced to a term of seven years and six months’ imprisonment. The Mechanism notes that the judgment of first instance is subject to potential appeal and review proceedings at national and international levels, and the verdict has therefore yet to acquire legal finality. The Mechanism understands that Judge Akay has been provisionally released pending appeal, his passport has been forfeited, and he has been prohibited from departing the country.

The arrest of Judge Akay in September 2016, his detention and legal proceedings against him are inconsistent with the assertion of his diplomatic immunity by the United Nations, as well as the binding judicial order by the Mechanism to the Government of Turkey issued in January 2017. The President of the Mechanism, Judge Theodor Meron, formally brought the matter to the attention of the UN Security Council in March 2017.








http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2017/06/14/97001-20170614FILWWW00244-turquie-un-juge-de-l-onu-condamne.php (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201706151031851449-ankara-condamne-juge-onu-prison/ (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/UN: Under arrest for over 8 months, UN judge faces 15 years in jail over coup charges

June 2, 2017

Under arrest for over 8 months, UN judge faces 15 years in jail over coup charges

Under arrest as part of a post-coup investigation into the Gulen movement, Aydın Sefa Akay, an Ankara-born United Nations (UN) judge faces up to 15 years in prison.

Arrested on Sept 26, 2016, Akay is accused of membership to the movement, attempting to abolish Constitutional order and murder.

A judge on the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Akay earlier denied any links to the movement, describing himself as a Freemason.

An indictment prepared by an Istanbul prosecutor, claims that he used the controversial ByLock mobile application, which the government claims to be the top communication tool among Gulen followers. The prosecutor seeks between 7.5 to 15 years on charge of membership to a terrorist organization alone, according to Turkish media on Thursday.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and describes the movement as an armed terrorist organization. The movement denies accusations.

Turkey was earlier referred to the UN Security Council over Aydin’s detainment.






Nepal: Moves to impeach Chief Justice — an assault on human rights – UN

May 5, 2017

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has condemned moves to impeach the Chief Justice of Nepal, warning that such actions suggest a concerted attempt by the Government to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

“Chief Justice Sushila Karki has been instrumental in a number of high-profile and politically sensitive decisions, and therefore the attempt to remove her gives rise to serious concerns about the Government’s commitment to transitional justice and the rule of law,” Zeid said.

On 30 April, the two ruling parties, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), filed an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, alleging she had encroached on the prerogatives of the executive branch. This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding regarding the role of an independent judiciary, the High Commissioner noted.

The motion was filed days after the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Karki, revoked the Government’s appointment of a new Inspector General of Police, ruling that the Government had violated existing processes and regulations.

The Chief Justice has been suspended from her post until the impeachment proceedings are concluded. A committee will now be established to investigate the allegations, after which MPs will vote on whether to impeach her. However, this process is unlikely to be concluded before the Chief Justice reaches the mandatory retirement age on 7 June, meaning she will not be able to participate in a number of politically sensitive cases that she had announced the Supreme Court would consider in the near future.





UN slams Nepal’s ‘politically motivated’ move to impeach judge


**BREAKING: Chief Justice Karki reinstated**:





Cameroon/Turkey/Azerbaijan: UN side event “The independence of the legal profession”

April 5, 2017


On 16 March 2017 the Law Society, making use of its ECOSOC consultative status, organised a side event with Lawyers for Lawyers on “The independence of the legal profession” at the United Nations in Geneva.

The side event was held in the margins of the 34th Human Rights Council session and was co-sponsored by the Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Paraguay and Australia.

Mr Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, appointed in December 2016, was the keynote speaker. It was Mr García-Sayán’s first public speech in that capacity. He outlined the importance of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and emphasised the principle that lawyers should be able to practise their profession independently, without fear of external interference and/or intimidation, and without being identified with their clients. Mr García-Sayán also highlighted some priority areas, which he would be exploring further during his mandate, such as corruption and the role played by non-state actors in undermining the rule of law and the independency of the judiciary.

Lawyers from Turkey, Cameroon and Azerbaijan also shared their experiences and extensively discussed the serious challenges facing the legal profession in their respective countries.


UN Side Event “The Independence of the Legal Profession”

March 16, 2017

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After my presentation, with Diego Garcia-Sayan, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers!

(source: Cameroonian Lawyer Michel Togué, Facebook)

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