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.
The Law Society sent a letter to authorities in Saudi Arabia regarding the harassment and incommunicado detention of women’s rights defender Samar Badawi
The Law Society of England & Wales, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Lawyers for Lawyers, the Bar Council of England & Wales, and the Bar Human Rights Committee express their concern about serious threats made against the lawyer Daniel Prado in Colombia
On 6 November 2018, the Law Society hosted the London launch of the International Legal Assistance Consortium’s (ILAC) judicial assessment report on Guatemala. Over 30 people including solicitors, barristers, academics, law students, and INGOs attended this event.
Sue Willman, partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, was the Law Society’s nominee in a delegation of experts, assembled by the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC)*, to undertake a judicial assessment on the status of the rule of law and the justice sector in Guatemala.
The Law Society interviewed Stephen McNamara, solicitor working on the rule of law in Myanmar.