10e JOURNÉE DE L’AVOCAT EN DANGER – 24 Janvier 2020 : PAKISTAN

La Journée de l’Avocat en Danger est commémorée le 24 janvier de chaque année.

Le 24 janvier 1977, quatre avocats spécialistes des conflits sociaux et un assistant administratif ont été tués dans leur bureau à Madrid, en Espagne, en raison de leur travail. L’un des tueurs, qui était affilié à des partis et organisations d’extrême droite, a été condamné à quinze ans de prison ; un autre s’est enfui au Brésil et le troisième a été emprisonné plus tard en Bolivie dans le cadre d’un trafic de drogue.

Cette année, le 24 janvier 2020 marquera le 10e anniversaire de la Journée de l’Avocat en Danger.

Les années précédentes, la Journée a mis en lumière la situation des avocats dans les pays suivants : Chine, Colombie, Egypte, Honduras, Iran, Philippines, Espagne (Pays Basque), Turquie.

Lors de cette Journée, les organisateurs appellent leurs collègues internationaux à, d’une part, sensibiliser le public quant au nombre d’avocats harcelés, réduits au silence, mis sous pression, menacés, persécutés, torturés et mêmes assassinés dans l’exercice de leur profession et, d’autre part, à initier ou poursuivre une discussion au niveau national sur les moyens d’assurer la protection des avocats.

FBE Training Needs Assessment – Legal Education Commission

FBE Training Needs Assessment

 FBE Training Needs Assessment is a brief survey of 14 questions oriented to ascertain the needs and challenges faced by the European Bars concerning legal education. In particular, the questionnaire aims to identify:

  • Current education services offered by the FBE members
  • Lawyers´ needs in terms of legal education
  • Bar Association staff´s training needs

 The present Assessment is the outset of a project designed to create a shared legal education platform for the benefit of all FBE members and its members.

Statement on Poland – 20.01.2020

The Paris Bar Association, the German Bar Association, the Amsterdam Bar Association, the Flemish Bar Association and the Warsaw Bar Association of Advocates call upon the Polish Parliament to reject in full and refrain from further work on the bill introducing severe disciplinary measures against judges who would seek to verify the legality and constitutional legitimacy of the National Judiciary Council, the newly created Supreme Court chambers or other courts or tribunals (Amendments to the Law on the organization of common courts, the Act on the Supreme Court and some other acts dated 12 December 2019).

The proposed changes – taking in consideration especially the context in which they are introduced – are in breach of European and democratic standards and should be rejected as they disrupt the delicate balance between the judiciary and the executive, and thus undermine the rule of law in Poland and the European Union. The polish legal order faces a serious risk of legal chaos caused by a lack of mutual respect between the judicial institutions and courts before and after the legislative amendments in 2017.  

Independent courts are the ultimate guardian of justice and of the rights of citizens – especially if they face cases against the government. The judiciary itself may be the weakest among the three powers in democracies, but it is perhaps the most noble of them. Advocates – as part of the legal system – are now called to protect the judiciary and the rule of law against the unwarranted attacks from the executive and thus urge the Polish government to refrain from further demolition of the fragile system of checks and balances. Ultimately, the rights and freedoms of citizens are at stake.

FBE International Contract Competition 2020 – Bilbao, 27-29 March 2020

The FBE International Contract Competition (the Competition) is an
educational event in which young lawyers from different jurisdictions
meet each other to simulate commercial contract case.

The basis for the Competition is a commercial contract case which
contains a situation, focused on a digital business, concerning
conditions of partners that would like to cooperate. Young lawyers
(national “law firms” – “teams”) from different jurisdictions form pairs
and negotiate the contract.

The goals of the Competition include building relations between
lawyers from different jurisdictions and enhancing international
cooperation skills in the field of law.

Journée mondiale de l’avocat en danger, 24.01.20

Matériel à disposition pour la Journée Mondiale 2020 que vous pouvez librement utiliser et diffuser sur vos différents supports / Material available for World Day 2020 that you can freely use and distribute on your various media:

  • A document relating to the World Focus Day Pakistan 2020 to be distributed online /un document relatif à la Journée mondiale focus Pakistan 2020 à diffuser en ligne :
  • Un dépliant/brochure sur le Pakistan/ à imprimer et à diffuser au format papier / A leaflet / brochure on Pakistan / to print and distribute in paper format
  • Un document explicatif général et la situation des avocats / A general explanatory document and the situation of lawyers
  • Une affiche à imprimer éventuellement en grand format / A poster to print, possibly in large format
  • Un film de présentation de l’OIAD (anglais/sous-titré français): https://we.tl/t-j663lGOGGw (disponible par ce lien pendant une semaine, n’hésitez pas à nous écrire si le lien a expiré nous vous en enverrons un nouveau) / • an OIAD presentation film (English / French subtitles): https://we.tl/t-j663lGOGGw  (available via this link for one week, do not hesitate to write to us if the link has expired we will send you a new one)

Lien vers le site de la Fondation Day of the Endangered Lawyer /  Link to the Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation website: http://dayoftheendangeredlawyer.eu/

Tous ces documents sont à télécharger en cliquant sur l’onglet de la langue choisie / All these documents are to be downloaded by clicking on the tab of the chosen language

FBE Human Rights Commission – Hong Kong Report

HongKong is a city of about 7 million inhabitants. It contends the title of Asia’s NewYork with Singapore. During the months of August, September and October 2019 has arisen a  surreal atmosphere. From June 2019 every week there are protests in various parts of the city against the central government of Beijing; moreover the governor of Hong Kong nominated by China, Carrie Lam, has promulgated the Extradition Bill. That shows haw is true that HK does not have a mayor but a governor appointed by China.

Even if HongKong is located China, it is a city where English and Cantonese are spoken because it was an English colony until 1997 and it should have a substantial autonomy from China for 50 years until 2047.

The Extraditon Bill is a law that would allow China to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the rest of China by depriving them of the independent justice that should exist in Hong Kong. In reality, many rights and freedoms are being debated as freedom of communication (whatspp and facebook are used only in hongkong) and freedom of the press, in fact  publishing in hong kong is free meanwhile in China is clearly censored (is known the story of the 5 publishers in Hong Kong arrested and made to disappear in China).

Thanks to the support of Dutch lawyers, who arrived in Hong Kong at the beginning of August, I came into contact with the (CHRLCG) China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

All the Hong Kong lawyers that I met were very cooperative and through them I also had the chance to attend court hearings. I have  to thank the lawyer Ho.

I was in Hong Kong until about the middle of September. During the week the city experiences its widespread economy particularly in the Central district, and Soho, among glittering skyscrapers, art galleries and trendy clubs, work incessantly for managers, financial operators, lawyers.

At two subway stops, on the main island in the Causeway Bay and Wan Chai district, incessant protests take place every week starting on Friday. The same thing happens on the other side of the bay in the Kowloon peninsula.

As soon as I arrived I participated as an international observer in various protests and I was personally victim of totally unjustified firing of tear gas during a pacif demostration. The tear gas, in addition to hurting the eyes, causes a strong sense of suffocation and this forced everyone to always wear masks or gas masks. The international press was easily identifiable with yellow bibs and written « Media » or « Press ».

Supposedly, the protests lack of a leader and the organization of information about the protest sites they are easily traceable on the internet. I was in contact with journalists from Taiwan and Japanese photographers who I supported as an observer and I always had quick news on places and times.

I saw arbitrary police arrests and often I felt that the police were arresting at random. I saw on one occasion a person who was handcuffed to the ground was hit with at least 2 kicks.

During the weeks of protests many people have seen that I was a foreign and they showed me their friends’ medical certification, but I didn’t see these things directly. I was told that during the interrogations the police pointed a laser straight into an eye of the arrested person, as a form of torture to make people talk and that only at the end of the interrogation was the possibility to call a lawyer. The lawyer was never called immediately but only after 5/7 hours

On Sunday 18 August I witnessed an impressive demonstration of over one million people (the organizers say almost 2 million people) that against police brutality.

Over the weeks the situation got worse the protesters decided to attack also HongKong Airport, substantially blocking the various services, and recently clashes took place in the undergrounds.

The police steadly used water canon, tear gas and batons against protesters, who sometimes i had seen damage some government buildings and metro station.

At the beginning of September, shortly before I returned to Italy, the extradition law was officially revoked on 4 September.

For clarity five are the demands of the protesters

1) Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill

2) Retraction of the characterization of the « revolt »: the government initially characterized the protest of June 12 as « revolt ».

3) Release and exemption of arrested protesters: (when 1100 people were arrested, more than 2,000 arrests are now arrested in October. The average of 3 a day)

4) Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into the conduct of the police and the use of force during the protest

5) Resignation of Carrie Lam and implementation of universal suffrage for free election in Hong Kong and not a governor appointed by the Chinese government

It is very difficult to synthesize the many experiences lived in HongKong but I tried to be telegraphic in order to eventually deepe it at another time.

I was very lucky to have know a amazing lawyer from Sri Lanka, a poet, human rights activist, publisher of « Article 2 », an extraordinary man of 75 who fights for human rights in Hong Kong. His name is Basil Fernando. In 2014, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, a Swedish international award called “a alternative nobel prize”. A award to « honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today. »

Basil Fernando at 75 is still the heart and brain of the AHRC.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) an independent, non-governmental organization, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realisation of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilise Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.

They deal with at least 16 countries in Asia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal; Cambodia, parts of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Burma. Now they are treating the tragedy of Rohingya refugees between Bangladesh and Mymair.

I cannot forget the support of the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong. The help and collaboration started with Basil Fernando and Zaman from Bangladesh and all the other people in  AHRC that with great lack of economic means but with very strong motivations work evrey day for human rights. We will have to look  to support them and also organize a fundraiser.

The moment I write the situation is probably worse. On 1 October, large-scale demonstrations were held on the anniversary of the Republic of China, with an 18-year-old student protester shot by the police with a bullet.

Trying to curb the protests, an anti-mask law was activated on October 4th, so masks were forbidden for protesters as they would avoid identification. Anyone who wears a mask at legitimate gatherings and marches, unlawful or unauthorized assemblies or in revolt could be sentenced up to a maximum of one year of imprisonment and a fine of HK $ 25,000 (just under 3,000 euros).

The above relationship was made in collaboration with our friend F.Christian Di NARDO, Criminal Lawyer and Human Rights Lawyer, Bologna / Italy.