Posts Tagged ‘legal profession’

Applications for scholarships for ECCHR’s Legal Training Program now open

April 14, 2016

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung, the scholarship sponsor, recognize that there continue to be barriers to entry into the human rights profession that go against the spirit of our work, i.e. when economic or social considerations prevent potential participants from taking part. Therefore they offer young people with limited financial means and/or from underrepresented geographic and social backgrounds the chance to gain professional experience in human rights work.

The call for applications is aimed at students and young professionals (max one year after graduation) who wish to apply for ECCHR’s Legal Training Program but whose personal and financial situation would make it impossible to participate on an unpaid basis. Candidates from the Global South as well as refugees and others with a migration background are especially encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2016

More info:

The remarkable crackdown on lawyers in China in July 2015

July 29, 2015

On 10 July 2015 over 250 lawyers and support staff were detained or questioned by the police in China in one of the largest crackdowns in recent years. Many newspapers and NGOs have reported on this phenomenon. This is the situation on 29 July: Read the rest of this entry »

Alarming disbarments and suspensions of lawyers in Ukraine

February 13, 2014

While most attention is focused on the demonstration in Ukraine, a recent report by the respected International Commission of Jurists [ICJ] casts light on alarming trend of disbarments and suspensions of lawyers.  The report casts light on a conflict in the legal profession, which has led to apparently arbitrary disciplinary action against a significant number of lawyers. The report reveals the escalating dispute in the legal profession following the implementation of a new law, signed by the President on 5 July 2012, which significantly changed the organization of the profession and provides for the establishment of a new bar association. The law,icj_logo_pantone Read the rest of this entry »

Haiti: Judicial harassment against human rights lawyers continues

October 28, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 22 October 2013, human rights lawyer André Michel in Haiti was arbitrarily held in police custody after police attempted to carry out a search on his vehicle. He was eventually released the next morning but remains at risk of arrest. André Michel is involved, as legal representative of the complainant, in a case of corruption and embezzlement of public funds allegedly implicating members of the President’s family. Read the rest of this entry »

ICJ launches two innovative legal databases on sexual orientation

August 1, 2013

icj_logo_pantone launched two innovative legal databases: the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity (SOGI) UN Database and the SOGI Legislative Database. Read the rest of this entry »

Canadian Lawyers write for detained Human Rights Defender Asma Ahmed in Sudan

May 21, 2013

Canada LRWC is a committee of Canadian lawyers and law professors who campaign internationally for advocacy rights and advocates in danger and on rule of law issues. The following is both an illustration of professional solidarity and giving information on a Sudanese woman human rights lawyer, Asma Ahmed: Read the rest of this entry »

Where in Syria is human rights defender Khalil Maatouk?

February 19, 2013

Mr. Khalil Maatouk is a human rights lawyer who has defended numerous prisoners of conscience before Syrian courts. He was arrested with a friend by armed men on October 2, 2012 (!!) at a checkpoint in Sahnaya (in the countryside outside of Damascus). Since then, 139 days later, no further information could be obtained regarding his situation and whereabouts. Neither of the men has been seen since, although even the already extensive period of legal custody of 60 days elapsed. Despite repeated requests by his relatives and lawyers, the Syrian authorities have failed to provide information on Mr. Khalil Maatouk’s fate and whereabouts and did not allow him to contact his family and lawyers. While two witnesses claimed having seen Mr. Maatouk in a detention centre, the judicial authorities have recently denied holding him in custody. humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

Read the rest of this entry »

Ongoing judicial harassment of human rights defender Bahtyar Mamedov; court hearing today in Azerbaijan

February 14, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

reports that a new hearing on the case of human rights defender  Bahtyar Mamedov is scheduled to start on 14 February 2013 at the Court of Grave Crimes in Baku. The human rights defender has been detained since 30 December 2011 on charges of “swindle” and “extortion accompanied by violence”. The trial under the charges of swindle has been ongoing since April 2012, despite a reported lack of evidence to support the case.

Bahtyar Mamedov is a defender of property rights and the legal representative of Baku inhabitants whose houses have been demolished. Bahtyar Mamedov subsequently discovered fraud with money due to be paid as compensation, allegedly involving a military unit commander, Shahin Sultanov. Bahtyar Mamedov was then accused himself of an alleged attempt on his part to extort money from Shahin Sultanov, which he strongly denies. During the initial three-month period ordered by the Court of Grave Crimes to investigate the charges of “extortion accompanied by violence”, no evidence was found to support the charges, yet the case was not closed.  The prosecution subsequently opened a second case against Bahtyar Mamedov on charges of fraud. Until 5 November 2012, Shahin Sultanov, the alleged victim of the fraud, had not been questioned by the investigative team and did not respond to the summons to appear before the court. On 15 October 2012, he sent a declaration stating that he did not know Bahtyar Mamedov and that he had lodged a complaint against him according to information received from third persons, and that he has nothing against Bahtyar Mamedov.

Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal and an update on the continued judicial harassment faced by Bahtyar Mamedov on  26 October 2012 <>  and 12 November 2012 <> respectively.

Two more human rights lawyers assassinated in Pakistan

February 9, 2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (regional NGO) reports that two prominent lawyers have been assassinated in targeted killings on 2 February 2013.

Mr. Malik Jarrar 47, a Supreme Court lawyer, was shot dead in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Paktoonkha province by unknown persons, riding a motorcycle. He was on his way to pick up his two sons from school. Mr. Jarrar was the former vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Another prominent lawyer, Mr. Mian Muhammad Tariq 55, was also shot dead in similar manner in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. He was shot dead by unknown assailants when he was parking his car inside his apartment building.

Mr Malik’s was probably a sectarian killing as he was from the Shia sect, the second largest sect of Islam which is under attack by the Taliban and other fundamentalist Sunnis who had declared them as Kafir (infidel) and liable to be killed. In the recent days four prominent Shia were assassinated by unknown persons in Peshawar.

The legal fraternity of the whole country organised a two-day boycott of courts in protest of killings. The lawyers see in the killings of their colleagues the total failure of the government to for maintaining the rule of law in the country.

In the last week four workers of one NGO, HANDS, working to provide health facilities and food rations to poor fisherfolk, were abducted by unknown persons but the government has failed to recover them. Persons who work in favour of human rights, which is deemed contrary to the interests of radical Islamist groups face considerable threat, as may be noted in the killings in 2011 of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, and the Federal Minister of Minority Affairs, Shabaz Bhatti, who were targeted for their efforts to protect minorities, and their opposition to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws.

So far 87 journalists had been killed in Pakistan since 2000. In the year 2012, eight journalists were killed while performing their official duty.

The irresponsible attitude of the government towards the security and protection of the human rights defenders and the appeasement policy towards the Muslim fundamentalists groups can be judged by the government’s refusal to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders to visit the country. The government, after ratifying the UN ICCPR has accepted a recommendation to do so.


Nominations for the Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) Award as from today

January 25, 2013

As of today one can also nominate for the Lawyers for Lawyers Award a lawyer, or a group of lawyers, who work to promote the rule of law and human rights in an exceptional way and who have been threatened, obstructed or in any other way hindered because of their work as a lawyer. An additional criterion is that this lawyer, or group of lawyers, may benefit from the publicity and recognition of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award.

The Lawyers for Lawyers Award, organised by the Netherlands-based NGO with the same name, will be presented for the second time in Amsterdam on 23 May 2013. An independent jury, consisting of  Heikelien Verrijn Stuart, Theo van Boven, Egbert Mlogoyjer and Els Swaab, will decide which lawyer will receive the award. The prize consists of a donation of €10.000. Anyone can submit a nomination, but a lawyer or group of lawyers cannot nominate themselves. The closing date for submission of nominations is 15 February 2013.

Only nominations done on the website will be taken into consideration. The nomination form is available here and other information is available here.