Posts Tagged ‘Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers’

24 January, Day of the Endangered Lawye: ABA focuses on Pakistan

January 17, 2020
Pakistan is the focus of this year’s Day of the Endangered Lawyer (January 24) and the American Bar Association is organising a teleconference, in which panelists will provide a report of the current state of attacks on the judiciary, bar and other human rights defenders in Pakistan, as well as offering suggestions for how the ABA and other outside organizations can lend support. [see also:]


  • Sara Sandford, Immediate Past Co-Chair, International Human Rights Committee


  • Jalila Haider, Founder of We the Humans
  • Farahnaz Ispahani, Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute; Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Hussain Haqqani, Former Ambassador to US
  • Raza Rumi, Director of the Park Center for Independent Media, Ithaca College; Visiting Faculty at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs; and Editor of Daily Times

Sri Lankan human rights defender barred from legal practice appeals to Supreme Court

January 2, 2020

Dr Kumaravadivel Guruparan filed a Fundamental Rights Petition in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka last week, challenging the decision of the University Grants Commission and University of Jaffna to bar him from legal practice.

The senior lecturer of law at Jaffna University and prominent civil society representative was barred from engaging in private practice following pressure from the Sri Lankan military, after he took up a public interest habeas corpus case into the 1996 disappearance of more than two dozen Tamil youth.

The incident drew outrage from around the world, with hundreds signing a statement condemning the ‘threats, harassment and reprisals’ against the prominent human rights lawyer and the international human rights organisation Front Line Defenders has issued an urgent appeal. See:

L4L seminar looks at 25 Years ‘Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers’

May 21, 2015

Under the title ‘Lawyers are not their clients the Netherlands-based NGO Lawyers for Lawyers [L4L] puts the 25th anniversary of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers in the limelight. On 29 May 2015 the seminar starts with an introduction by Phon van den Biesen, President L4L, and Cees Flinterman, Professor Emeritus of Human Rights (University of Utrecht and Maastricht).

Basic Principle 18 states that lawyers “shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.

In Break-out sessions the following aspects are considered:

  1. Identification in LGBT-cases (Alice Nkom, Cameroon)
  2. Identification in terrorism cases (Magamed Abubakarov, the Russian Federation and Ayse Bingol, Turkey)
  3. Identification in certain human rights cases (Jorge Molano, Colombia)

The plenary discussion concludes with the Award Ceremony for the 2015 L4L award to Jorge Molano (see:

Visit or contact the Executive Director (+31.6 262 743 90).

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