The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has launched a “Toolkit on Lawyers at Risk” to advance the protection of lawyers at risk of persecution for carrying out their professional duties.
The toolkit is a result of a collaboration between IBAHRI, the Bar Human Rights Committee, Human Rights House Foundation, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada.
“Too often, the safety and security of lawyers are compromised simply because they are dedicated to performing their professional functions,” says IBAHRI director, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.
“I urge lawyers at risk, or potentially at risk, to arm themselves with knowledge from this Toolkit to combat unfair treatment.”
The toolkit is aimed at strengthening the protection of lawyers and providing practical guidance for those seeking to protect lawyers by:
- enhancing the capacity of lawyers’ to use international human rights norms and recommendations
- raising awareness about the risks attached to practising law
- proving information on how to engage with relevant human rights mechanisms to ensure professional independence and personal safety
- supporting joint actions among organisations that support lawyers.
A directory of organisations and a Legal Digest have also been published alongside the Toolkit.
“While states should ensure the independence of the legal profession and protect it from undue attacks, this Toolkit will empower lawyers to take matters into their own hands,” says Anne Ramberg, IBAHRI Co-Chair.
“Thirty years have passed since the adoption of the IBA Standards for the Independence of the Legal Profession, and the launch of this Toolkit is a fitting way to honour this and renew our commitment to human rights lawyers across the world.”