New Zealand Law Society - Law Society supports calls to ensure safety of Afghan women judges

Law Society supports calls to ensure safety of Afghan women judges

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa expresses support for the statement of the International Association of Women Judges following the recent developments in Afghanistan.

Justice Susan Glazebrook, President of the IAWJ and a New Zealand Supreme Court Judge, has issued a media statement calling for the New Zealand Government to play a part in securing safe passage and refuge for Afghan women judges and their families.

Over the past decade, women in Afghanistan have stepped into judicial roles and worked to support the rule of law so all Afghan people were protected, and the democratic government could succeed. The Law Society is concerned their safety may now be at risk.

“We know women judges have been particularly targeted by the Taliban and there were reports of assassinations earlier this year. We are very concerned for their safety and the safety of their families,” said Law Society President Tiana Epati.

“Their experience of previous Taliban rule means some now seek safe passage from Afghanistan.”

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, has also acknowledged the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan, and has called for the rights and freedoms of women to be protected.

“It is our hope that Aotearoa New Zealand and the international community will together ensure the safety of Afghan women judges, just as they have for those who have found themselves at similar risk, such as translators and journalists,” says Ms Epati.