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.

Day of the Endangered Lawyer, 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.

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.