Archive for the 'L4L' Category

Independence of the Legal Profession subject of side event on 16 March 2017

March 9, 2017

Lawyers for Lawyers and The Law Society of England & Wales organize a UN side event on the “The Independence of the Legal Profession” on Thursday 16 March 2017, 3 – 5 pm in Room XXIII of the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Keynote speaker: Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

 

Panelists:

·        Khalid Baghirov, lawyer (Azerbaijan)

·        Ayse Bingol Demir, lawyer (Turkey) [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/01/23/persecution-of-lawyers-and-journalists-in-turkey-side-event-in-geneva-on-27-january/]

·         Michel Togué, lawyer (Cameroon) [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/02/13/death-threats-against-human-rights-defenders-alice-nkom-and-michel-togue-in-cameroon/]

The panelists 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 event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Australia and Paraguay as well as the following NGOs: – Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC),- Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), – Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), – International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), – Avocats Sans Frontières Suisse (ASF Switzerland), – International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), – Judges for Judges (J4J), – Human Rights House Foundation and- Peace Brigades International (PBI, UK)

To register (for those without passes, until 12 March 2017): S.deGraaf@lawyersforlawyers.nl

For enquiriesRoberta.Taveri@lawsociety.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Nominations L4L Award 2017 now welcome until 15 February

January 30, 2017

L4L logoNomination for the 2017 Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) Award can be submitted until 15 February 2017.
The Lawyers for Lawyers Award will be presented for the fourth time in Amsterdam on 19 May 2017. An independent jury, chaired by mrs. Heikelien Verrijn Stuart, will decide which lawyer will receive the award. The prize will consist of a special token as well as a monetary element of € 10.000. This award is presented every two years to a lawyer who promotes the rule of law and human rights in an exceptional way, who has been threatened or obstructed because of his or her work as a lawyer, and who may benefit from the publicity and recognition of the Award.

Anyone can submit a nomination, but a lawyer or group of lawyers cannot nominate themselves. Lawyers from all over the world can be nominated.

Only those nominations submitted via the nomination form on the website will be taken into consideration. The nomination form is available here : Nomination form L4L Award 2017 Lawyers for Lawyers

See for 2015: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/05/15/jorge-molano-from-colombia-laureate-of-2015-lawyers-for-lawyers-award/

 

Human rights lawyers and indigenous people in the Philippines endangered

January 24, 2015

Human rights lawyers and their clients stage a picket at the Supreme Court to mark the ‘Day of the Endangered Lawyer’ (photo courtesy of NUPL)

Human rights lawyers in the Philippines on Friday 23 January 2015 protested publicly against the growing death toll within their ranks as they marked the “Day of the Endangered Lawyer” by trooping to the Supreme Court. The protest spearheaded by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers [NUPL] and joined by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines was joined by lawyers’ and support groups that staged pickets or held dialogues at Philippine embassies and consulates in 23 cities in 11 European countries.

Figures show that, since attacks on legal professionals began being recorded in 1977, “100 lawyers have been attacked (57 since 2001) while 50 lawyers have been killed (41 since 2001).” “Nineteen judges have been murdered, 18 since 2001”

Government must simply do its job: protect its citizens, categorically condemn these attacks on lawyers as human rights defenders; seriously and credibly investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators; and uphold human rights because the attacks on lawyers is not only an attack on the individual lawyer, it is an attack on the legal profession, and most fundamentally — in the context of the targeted assaults on human rights and public interest lawyers — an attack itself on the rights and interests of the mostly poor and oppressed in our country” 

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/103685/a-deadly-profession–human-rights-lawyers-count-the-costs-on-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

A petition <http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/wp-content/uploads/Petition-Day-of-Endangerd-Lawyer-2015.pdf> signed by lawyers organizations from Asia, Canada Europe and the United States  calls on the Aquino government  to prevent extrajudicial killings and all forms of harassment of lawyers and to end impunity by prosecuting perpetrators of rights violations. The petition also calls on the Aquino government  to protect the safety of lawyers as provided for in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1990.  Underlying causes for extrajudicial killings. The practice of labeling (classifying victims as ‘enemies of the state’), the involvement of the military in politics, the proliferation of private armies and vigilante groups and the culture of impunity have been identified by national and international fact-finding bodies as the main root causes for the alarming rate of extrajudicial killings, including the extrajudicial killings of lawyers, in the Philippines.

Away from the capital human rights violations against indigenous people and their human rights defenders also continue as demonstrated in 2 film documentaries:

Gikan sa Ngitngit nga Kinailadman” (From the Dark Depths) records grave rights violations using interviews and recollections of the survivors and witnesses. The cases featured in the film remains unresolved; the perpetrators waiting for the next human rights defender to hunt. The film shows the atrocities of the military and paramilitary troops, including the armed agents of the agro-industrial corporations in the hinterlands of Mindanao.

-The first case presented in the film is the assassination of Gilbert Paborada—a Higaonon farmer in Bagocboc, Opol, Misamis Oriental. Daisy Paborada, the wife of Gilbert, and Joseph Paborada, his brother, reiterates how the struggle of their community against the entry of palm oil plantations of A Brown Company led to Gilbert’s death.

-The film also shows interviews about the harassment of the Lumad community in Opol as they suffer from the goons of A Brown Company. The harassments and intimidation breed the culture of fear and terror among the people who opt to protect their ancestral domain vis-à-vis the environment over money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO taken during the shooting of “Gikan sa Ngitngit nga Kinailadman” in the mountains of Pantaron in Bukidnon. (RMP-NMR)

Dalena is also the director of Alingawngaw ng mga Punglo (Echo of Bullets) that exposed the criminal acts of the military under the infamous General Jovito Palparan, also known as ‘The Butcher.’ Palparan now is in jail, facing allegations of murder against human rights defenders.

Sr. Maria Famita Somogod, regional coordinator of Rmp-Nmr, said the film highlights political repression. The spate of human rights violations featured in the film is the reaction of the government to quell the legitimate dissent of the lumads against the entry of agro-industrial corporations in their ancestral domain. Somogod said the dissent of the lumads and farmers is legitimate. Their demands are to protect their ancestral domain against the encroachment of foreign corporations in the hinterlands. “Instead of seeds, bullets. Instead of food, bombs. Instead of peace, forcible evacuation. Instead of life, death,” Somogod said, adding this is what the ordinary lumads and farmers get for protecting the land of promise.

In the words of the author Anjo Bacarisas, in Sunstar of 25 January: at the end of the film one asks: How should we stop this appalling cruelty against the lumads and farmers?

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cagayan-de-oro/feature/2015/01/25/underbelly-land-promise-388461

Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey: side event in Geneva on 27 January

January 23, 2015

L4L logo Lawyers for Lawyers, the Law Society of England and Wales,  Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Privacy International, Fair Trial Watch and Media Legal Defence Initiative organise  a panel discussion on the “Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey” on Tuesday, 27 January, in Geneva, Immediately after the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Turkey,

 At this event fundamental rights of lawyers and journalists that are regularly being violated will be discussed, including freedom of expression, privacy, confidentiality between lawyers and their clients and the protection of sources by journalists. This event comes at a time when the rule of law in Turkey is under serious threat.

[Turkey has adopted new laws and judicial reform packages, allowing for even more internet censorship, data collection, surveillance and the censoring of critical views on the pretence of protecting national security, which are directly undermining the freedom of expression, but also other fundamental rights such as privacy. In particular, journalists and lawyers are negatively impacted. They are subject to surveillance and legal harassment. The last couple of years large groups of lawyers and journalists have been arrested on the suspicion of terrorism related offences. Lawyers face stigmatisation by being continuously identified with their clients’ causes. Journalists are accused of not being independent. For both groups it is hard, if not impossible, to work freely, independently and securely.]

Speakers:

Ayse Bingol – Lawyer from Turkey

Tayfun Ertan – Journalist from Turkey

Marietje Schaake (by Skype) – Member European Parliament

Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion – Privacy International

Tony Fisher – The Law Society of England and Whales

Moderator:  Irma van den Berg – Turkey expert of Lawyers for Lawyers

The event takes place from 12h45 – 14h30 in Room XXIII, Palais des Nations. Those wishing to attend, send email – before 23 January – to : bp[at]lawyersforlawyers.nl

Turkey 27 January in Geneva; side-event Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey Lawyers for Lawyers.

Lawyers for Lawyers raises the alarm: Filipino lawyers at risk

April 24, 2014

 

Cathy Salucon, Philippines via L4L

Cathy Salucon, Philippines via L4L

On 23 April 2014 Amsterdam-based Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) warn in an open letter to President Aquino of the Philippines for the continued labeling of lawyers as enemies of the state by the military. Since March, Atty. Maria Catherine L. Dannug-Salucon has been the subject of death threats, labeling, surveillance and verbal intimidation by military officers. Mrs Dannug-Salucon is reportedly on the Filipino military’s Watch List of so-called ‘Communist Terrorist’ supporters providing legal services.  She has also been under the surveillance of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces. The surveillance is particularly worrisome in view of the killing – reportedly by members of the Intelligence Services – on 25 March 2014 of Mr. William Bugatti, a human rights defender who was also working as a paralegal for Atty. Dannug-Salucon.
Read the rest of this entry »

Lawyers for Lawyers object to false charges against peoples’ lawyers in the Philippines

August 1, 2013

 Yesterday I had a post “Philippines Chief Human Rights Defender, Rosales, asked to resign for ‘incompetence’”. In reaction I received from Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) an update on the continued pressure on ‘opposition lawyers’ who are labeled as “enemies of the state”.  L4L logoThe Dutch foundation Lawyers for Lawyers warns in an open letter to Read the rest of this entry »

Lawyers for Lawyers campaigns for forgotten Iranian human rights defender Houtan Kian

June 12, 2013

Whilst attention within Iran, as well as abroad, is focused on the upcoming presidential elections, Read the rest of this entry »

Russian HRD Magamed Abubakarov to receive Lawyers for Lawyers Award 2013

May 21, 2013

map

(Magamed Abubakarov)

Magamed Abubakarov, a Russian human rights lawyer specialized in terrorist cases in the North-Caucasus, will receive the Lawyers for Lawyers Award 2013. Magamed Abubakarov will accept the award on 31 May at the end of a seminar called ‘Lawyers controlled, independence at stake?’ in Amsterdam. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Groups Welcome Spanish Court’s Decision to Acquit Judge Baltasar Garzón

February 28, 2012

On 27 February 2012 an impressive array of international NGOs welcomed the decision by the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court to acquit the judge and human rights defender Baltasar Garzón. The organizations include: the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), Asociación pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE), Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (AEDIDH), the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) and Rights International Spain (RIS). The stated: “… We have previously issued a statement https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByBM8_x9YdxiOTllZTE4YzYtNGQ1Mi00NGQ1LWJlNTgtMDhjNDliMDE4MzYx/edit?pli=1 warning the international community and Spanish society of the danger that the process posed to both judicial independence and access to justice for victims of crimes committed during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to finally acquit Judge Baltasar Garzón of the malfeasance charges against him. However, at the same time, we strongly reaffirm that grave damage has been done to both Judge Garzón and judicial independence more broadly. Judge Garzón should never have been prosecuted for complying with the clear obligation under international law to investigate grave violations of human rights.”

 

The organizations added that the critical question that motivated the prosecution of Judge Garzón has not been adequately answered: “Who has the legal authority to investigate crimes committed during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime?” “We remind the Supreme Court of its obligation to rule on this issue of legal authority or competency raised before it. Determination of this pressing issue was inexplicably subordinated to the malfeasance prosecution against Judge Garzón and as a result has unjustifiably remained pending for over two years. Our organizations call on the Supreme Court to consider and determine, in accordance with its constitutional mandate and principles of international law, what courts have the authority to investigate and provide effective remedy for the 114,266 enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings committed during the Civil War and Franco regime that followed. We also call on the Court to confirm the applicability of national and international law to the investigation and redress of these and other serious crimes against international law.”

 

Along with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, the NGOs call on Spain to repeal its 1977 Amnesty Law as it violates the international law obligations Spain has assumed since that year and the Spanish Constitution itself (articles 1.1, 9, 10.2, 95 and 96).  

Spain: Human Rights Groups Welcome Spanish Court’s Decision to Acquit Judge Baltasar Garzón / February 27, 2012 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

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 http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/basic-principles/

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 mailto:info@lawyersforlawyers.nl.

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 graham.leung@icj.org.