Respect for the rule of law and its principles is of the upmost importance to safeguard the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession. This is fundamental for establishing a reliable and credible judicial system that will have the required legitimacy for its effective operation. Lawyers are perfectly positioned to play a vital role in upholding the rule of law and human rights. They help in establishing and maintaining democracies, and in building prosperous economies due to their skills and position in society.
The Law Society's rule of law and human rights work attracts interest across the spectrum of its membership through its involvement in international projects and the engagement of established and aspiring lawyers looking for opportunities to contribute to the international work of the Law Society as well as to establish relationships with their colleagues abroad.
The Law Society recognises that the added value of its work lies in bringing together the expertise of our members towards public interest, rule of law and human rights work as well as standing in solidarity with fellow lawyers around the world.
The Law Society regularly receives project requests directly from foreign bar associations, its members, foreign lawyers, foreign Ministries of Justice, amongst others. These requests range from commercially focused initiatives to proposed human rights and rule of law projects. The rule of law portfolio and its associated programmes were developed so that the Law Society can respond in a more structured and consistent manner to the needs of its members, as well as the requests for assistance made by foreign bars and lawyers.
Today, the Law Society of England & Wales, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, Fair Trials, the Defence Extradition Lawyer’s Forum, and the International Forum of Extradition Specialists issued joint observations on the human rights implications of the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters legislation.
The Law Society has signed an open letter to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong on proposed changes to Hong Kong’s extradition laws.
Welcoming remarks at the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) Annual Conference were made by the Law Society President, Christina Blacklaws, who highlighted the importance of safeguarding the rule of law as a way of building robust justice systems and securing the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary.
Thursday, 30 May 2019, 14:00-16:00, 113 Chancery Lane, London, UK
Tuesday 6 November, 17:30-21:00, The Law Society, Chancery Lane
The Law Society interviewed Stephen McNamara, solicitor working on the rule of law in Myanmar.