Lawyers for Lawyers adds a crucial element to the protection of Human Rights Defenders

December 12, 2011

On 1 April 2011 I reported on the award given by Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) in the Netherlands and promised to come back to the main topic of the related expert meeting which was the question of the independence of lawyers, and in particular how to raise the status of the “Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers” by making them better known.

The organization has kept its word and created before the end of the year a database that brings together all information on the Basic Principles, which are basically soft law but are an important set of international standards. The database contains documents in which references are made to the Basic Principles, such as documents of the UN, special rapporteurs, non-governmental organisations, (regional) courts and so on. You can have a preview of this database on the L4L website

There is also a booklet Building on Basic Principles, in which all the papers from the expert meeting, are published, which can be ordered from LAWYERS FOR LAWYERS, Adrie van de Streek, Executive Director

Moreover, the International Commission of Jurists organized on 5-6 December 2011 an important seminar on the “Strengthening the Rule of Law in Times of Transition – The Role of Lawyers and Bar Associations”. One of the participants was Muhannad Al-Hassani, the 2010 MEA Laureate, who was disbarred by his less courageous colleagues in the Bar Association. For more information on this event please contact: Graham Leung at

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