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BarTalk Special Edition - Rule of Law and Human Rights

This edition of BarTalk brings together the Bar Council’s work, as well as contributions by experts in the field, on key issues relating to the rule of law and human rights.​ You can read the full issue here. 


Chair of the Bar: 'We cannot stand by and watch this happen' 

In his latest Counsel magazine column, Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, argues the case on why it is more important than ever to protect and defend against threats and attempts to stifle lawyers, the rights of their clients and the rule of law – both internationally and closer to home.  Read the Chair's column here.


Human Rights are not only for Human Rights Lawyers

Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council’s International Committee, explains why practice area plays no part in the need for the Bar's voice to speak up as one for the rule of law and rights injustices globally. Read Amanda's full blog here.


Shoulder to shoulder: English & Welsh Bar in solidarity with Endangered Lawyers

The Bar Council and the Bar Human Rights Committee joined lawyers' organisations in Europe and around the world on 24 January 2018 to mark the Eighth International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. This year, the global legal community focused its attention on those lawyers in Egypt who face persecution in furtherance of the protection of the rule of law, but other lawyers at risk around the world were remembered. 

The Bar Council pointed out on the day that for the protection these lawyers afford to others, they are often watched, tracked, falsely prosecuted, deprived of their liberty, or even killed. Each of those instances is a serious threat not only to those lawyers, but to the meaningful protection of the rights they seek to defend. Find out more here. 


The 'Big Four': Where are lawyers most at risk?

On Day of the Endangered Lawyer, the Bar Council also identified four other countries where lawyers are currently at risk from human rights abuses simply for doing their jobs in the interests of justice and upholding the rule of law. Click here to find out more.


Suffering and lawyering

Payam Akhavan LLM SJD, Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, explains to the Bar Council how his exile from Iran as a child led to a lifelong search for justice through a career acting as the first Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague, serving with the UN in Rwanda, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Timor Leste and appearing as counsel before international law courts worldwide. Read Payam's full blog here.


IRAN: Chair of the Bar steps in over detained lawyers 

Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar, has stepped in over the detention of the prominent lawyers, Abdolfattah Soltani and Narges Mohammadi, in Iran by writing a joint letter with BHRC directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran. 

The Independent and other media outlets reported that the Chair of the Bar’s letter expressed profound concern for lawyers and other human rights defenders in Iran who continue to be persecuted for undertaking their professional obligations to their clients.

Speaking on the necessity of the letter, Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar commented: “Strong and confident nations recognise the role played by independent lawyers in upholding the rights of their citizens and others, and they protect the right of lawyers to act for their clients without fear or interference, including in cases that bring those clients into conflict with the state itself.  We hope the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran will respond to calls from the international community by respecting and defending the role of Iranian lawyers.”


An invisible Mandela - Reflecting on Sir Henry Brooke

Barrister Mark Cunningham QC of Maitland Chambers reflects on the late Sir Henry Brooke, his commitment to the rule of law and his role as the founding President of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk. Read Mark's tribute to Sir Henry here.


Baroness Chakrabarti, CBE: No gender equality without the Rule of Law

Barrister Baroness Chakrabarti, CBE, guest blogs for the Bar Council, seeking answers from the legal world and giving her view on how to address the vast issue of gender equality and protect the rule of law from "enemies of the people cynicism". Read Baroness Chakrabarti's blog here.


Immigration Rights: Indefinite detention

Why are migrants held indefinitely in detention on the authority of Home Office civil servants without going before a judge, even if they have committed no crime? Dr Anna Lindley of SOAS - author of the Bar Council-commissioned 'Injustice in Indefinite Detention' report, joins immigration barristers with first-hand experience of clients in indefinite detention to explain why the system is an affront to natural justice and the Rule of Law. Watch the short film on Bar Council TV.


Attorney-General: Will Brexit jeopardise the Rule of Law and Human Rights?

The government’s chief legal advisor, The Rt Hon. Jeremy Wright QC MP answers the question that has been the subject of much contention as Brexit draws ever closer, and explains how it affects the very fabric of British society. Read his full blog here.


Ask anything: Kirsty Brimelow QC

Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC), Kirsty Brimelow QC answers five key questions from a personal and professional perspective on her involvement with the BHRC. Read more here.


FGM: Making the law work

Barrister and Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) member, Zimran Samuel of Doughty Street Chambers, guest blogs on the strides made by the BHRC in addressing and protecting against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Read Zimran's blog here.

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