Friday 27 September (0930 - 1530)
Rule of Law Symposium - persecution of lawyers and judges: threats to the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession
Presented by the Rule of Law Forum, the Human Rights Law Committee, the IBA's Human Rights Institute, the Judges' Forum and the Professional Ethics Committee
In every region of the world, judges, lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote the rule of law are experiencing increasing persecution and intimidation. They face frivolous criminal charges, retaliatory disciplinary proceedings, illegal surveillance, online smear campaigns, physical threats, incarceration and even assassination. Overwhelmingly, the state is implicated as either the sponsor of the retaliation, or because of its failure to prevent or punish the perpetrators. Corporations are also often involved, either through complicity or active participation. Where attacks on human rights defenders occur with impunity, the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary are at stake.
Our keynote speakers and panellists will focus attention on this pressing concern and propose ways for the IBA membership to get involved. They will address what lawyers and judges can do to support and protect the rule of law. Speakers include representatives from the UN, NGOs that are fighting to protect the rule of law and a number of high-profile members of the legal profession who have experienced such persecution first-hand. The symposium will end with a discussion of best practices to fight the persecution of lawyers and judges.