Resolution on support to Afghan legal professionals – Paris, 28.09.2021

The General Assembly of the FBE, meeting in Paris on 28th September 2021 expresses very grave concern for the lawyers, judges and human rights defenders in Afghanistan. In particular we condemn discrimination against women and girls and support the right of all people to education, employment and freedom to express their opinions without risk to their lives, livelihood or freedom.

We call upon FBE members to offer support to Afghan legal professionals who are able to leave Afghanistan and to welcome them to their bar associations and law societies.

Resolution on the refugee situation on Belarus-Latvia, Belarus-Lithuania and Belarus-Poland borders – Paris, 28.09.2021

The General Assembly of the FBE meeting in Paris on 28th September 2021 expresses grave concern that the governments of Belarus , Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have failed to extend humanitarian aid and safe refuge or passage to refugees who are now trapped on the border between these countries. We note the hardship that the refugees face especially as they are faced with hard conditions of survival as the winter comes.

We note further that the refugees are not allowed access to lawyers under the “state of emergency “.

We remind these governments of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights of refugees, and demand that regard is now given to their right to legal advice and to proceed to seek asylum without further delay.

Resolution on Belarus Lawyers situation – Paris, 28.09.2021

The General Assembly of the FBE, meeting in Paris on 28th September 2021 deplores the political persecution of lawyers in Belarus. Lawyers, who express views contrary to those of the government or who represent peaceful protestors or opposition leaders in courts, face constant pressure. Repression against law practitioners include criminal persecution, administrative arrests, or punitive disciplinary proceedings. More than twenty Belarusian lawyers, who took a political and civic stance, have been deprived of the right to practice their profession.

We regret that key self-governing bodies of lawyers have implemented this repression by disbarring lawyers and depriving them of the right to practice.

We call upon the lawyers’ bodies to reinstate those that have been disbarred and to resist the political persecution of lawyers.

Resolution on the independence of judges and lawyers in Colombia – Paris, 28.09.2021

The General Assembly of the FBE, meeting in Paris on 28th September 2021 supports the independence of judges and lawyers and notes that the Colombian Judges, human rights lawyers and civil society organisations have asked for international support for their ongoing campaign for independence for the Colombian judiciary.

We support a national pact that guarantees respect for the rule of law, justice, full operation of the judicial system, and strengthening the transitional justice system in support of the Peace Agreement.

We call upon all FBE members to support the Day of the Endangered Lawyer on 24th January 2022, when the day will focus upon lawyers in Colombia.

Resolution on the immediate release of turkish lawyers incarcerated – Paris, 28.09.2021

The General Assembly of the FBE, meeting in Paris on 28th September 2021 expresses its full support for lawyers in Turkey who are detained, on trial or sentenced to prison. Following the 5 day fact finding visit of around 30 lawyers from 8 European countries from 15 to 20 September 2021, the General Assembly believes that the legal profession itself is on trial.

On 15 September in the trial of the lawyers’ organisation: Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği (ÇHD), there were 10 presidents of regional bar associations among the defence team of 148 lawyers . According to the bar presidents, by maintaining the allegations against the defendants, the legal profession itself is put on trial. The 10 bar presidents called upon the court to ensure a fair trial and to release the defendants from pretrial detention.

We demand the immediate release of all lawyers incarcerated merely because they are performing their duties and functions as lawyers and/or exercising their rights to freedom of expression. We will continue to insist on upholding the fundamental principles of the rule of law, including the right to a fair trial.

Joining the motion adopted by the Conférence des Bâtonniers de France et d’Outre-Mer the 24th September 2021, we call on the lawyers of Europe to demonstrate in their robes on 16 November 2021 at 11 a.m., the day before the trial, in front of Turkish embassies and consulates to show their solidarity and their total support for their Turkish colleagues.

Resolution on the need of strengthening the protection of the profession of lawyer – Lisbon, 26.10.19

The General Assembly of the European Bars Federation (FBE) in Lisbon 26 October 2019, which represents 250 member Bars of Europe and their 1 million member lawyers, expressed its grave concerns for the globally based severe violation of the lawyers’ rights and lack of effective protection for the legal profession.

Having regard to the fundamental role of the lawyers in the judicial system, crucial for strengthening the Rule of Law and defending individual human rights, and

Having regard to the need each state to provide a high standard of protection against all forms of violence, harassment, threats, imprisonment, surveillance, enforced disappearances and murders of lawyers, and

In accordance with the FBE constant position and responsibility for protection of human rights of every single individual and the constant position that lawyers shall at all times be guaranteed in order to maintain the honour and dignity of their profession as essential agents of the administration of justice.

FBE reminds that each state has the positive obligation to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference,

FBE reminds that lack of effective remedies for protection of lawyers’ rights leads to the impossibility the legal profession to be exercised freely, independently and in accordance to its basic principles, which ruins the democracy and threatens the Rule of Law,

REQUEST the national authorities to establish a legal framework providing adequate safeguard of the legal profession when the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions.

FBE STATES its preparedness to support this process and to provide assistance to all national bars during the advocacy campaign in order to implement the international standards for protection of profession of the lawyer.

Resolution on the murder of Mr Derk WIERSUM – Lisbon, 26.10.19

The FBE strongly condemns the murder of Mr. Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on September 18, 2019.

The FBE expresses its sorrow about the rise in the number of threats and attacks against all members of the legal profession.

It calls upon governments to take all steps necessary to prevent violence against members of the legal profession.

Resolution on effective protection for Mr German ROMERO – Lisbon, 26.10.19

On Saturday 26 October 2019, the General Assembly of the FBE meeting in Lisbon, expressed its grave concern at the death threats received by Human Rights lawyer, German Romero, on 3 October 2019 in a campaign of intimidation, which has included the theft of his computer containing confidential information. Mr Romero represents victims of state agents in high profile cases, such as the massacre at the Palace of Justice in Bogotá in1985.

The Federation, which represents more than 1 million European lawyers, calls upon the Colombian government to provide effective protection for Mr Romero, and to improve the criminal justice system to put an end to the threats, attacks and killings of human rights defenders.

Resolution on violation of Attack against lawyers in Colombia – Barcelona, 01.06.19

The General Assembly of the European Bars Federation (FBE) meeting in Barcelona in June 1st, 2019 expresses its grave concern at the assassination of Paula Rocero, lawyer in Nariño, Colombia, killed on 20 May 2019. Ms Rocero was given protection in 2016 after many threats for her human rights work. It is noted that the path to peace and justice in Colombia needs renewed commitment. The FBE supports the defence of human rights and the need to protect judges, lawyers and the rule of law during the transition to peace.