The Lawyers at Risk programme aims to raise awareness of the risks and challenges associated with being a lawyer and the importance of the independence of the legal profession, as well as to foster professional solidarity with colleagues abroad.
The Law Society makes use of its ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations to make submissions to UN treaty bodies, UN Human Rights Council and UN Special Rapporteurs. We collaborate with a network of NGOs, international institutions, State agencies, and Bar associations for advocacy and follow-up on interventions and submissions. All interventions and follow-up actions are included in the Law Society's Intervention Tracker. This tracker compiles the data and allows for analyses regarding, for example, regional trends of intimidation and the identification of places where the independence of the legal profession is particularly threatened.
The work of the Lawyers at Risk programme is supported by the International Action Team (IAT), a volunteer group that consists of practising solicitors, barristers, and law students.
The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC), the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), and the Bar Council of England and Wales have sent an open letter to Turkish authorities raising concerns over the rising number of cases of human rights violations against lawyers in Turkey.
The Law Society submitted a shadow report to the UPR of China, highlighting cases of arbitrary and prolonged arrest and detention of lawyers and human rights defenders in the country.
On 9th March, the Law Society attended the annual meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Al-Hussain, with NGOs at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
In January 2018, to mark the Day of the Endangered Lawyer*, the Law Society organised a series of meetings that culminated with a seminar at the Law Society, which focused on the challenges to the rule of law and the legal profession in Egypt.
On 31 January 2018, Dina Meza, the celebrated independent journalist and human rights defender, founder of PEN-Honduras, recipient of the 2007 special Amnesty International UK prize for journalists at risk, and the 2014 Oxfam/Novib PEN International Freedom of Expression prize, visited the Law Society.
From 22-24 November 2017, the Law Society organised a visit to the United Kingdom by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr Diego García-Sayán
On 5 March 2018, the Law Society’s Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Tony Fisher, participated in a conference organised jointly with the German Bar Association, Lawyers for Lawyers, the Observatoire International Des Avocats and ELDH in Berlin.
Diego García-Sayán speaks about the importance of the independence of the legal profession.
Khalid Baghirov speaks about the obstacles faced by human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan.
No webinar or training is required, other than the IAT training taking place once a year. Please note that we are currently not able to admit law students, or students in other areas of study, to the International Action Team. Unfortunately, we are also not able to respond to requests for career advice.
For more info contact Roberta Taveri