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Forum Union Internationale des Avocats, Geneva

Judith Gleeson gave a presentation entitled Judges and Lawyers:  The ‘shared burden’ of fact-finding.  The meeting was very useful, and there was discussion of the UIA’s Budapest Principles (Basic Principles on the Status of Refugees, ratified by the UIA General Assembly of October 28, 2016, in Budapest) and the International Commission of Jurists’ new Principles on the Role of Judges and Lawyers in Relation to Refugees and Migrants adopted in May 2017.  In particular, the meeting discussed the duty and utility of pro bono representation in countries where legal aid is not easily available. In particular, we heard from Philip Worthington, Project Manager for ELIL (European Lawyers in Lesvos, a pro bono support project) on the work it does supporting Greek lawyers dealing with the Mediterranean migrants in Lesvos.

Judith Gleeson also attended the UIA Bar Leaders Briefing held on the following day at the Office of the United Nations.  The Briefing topic was Is the Rule of Law a Necessity for keeping the Peace? The responsibility of lawyers and Bar Associations towards Refugees.  There were particularly interesting talks on the Rule of Law and Protection of Refugees by Volker Türk, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection (The UN Refugee Agency) and Supporting women’s access to justice on the road to peace by Amanda Rawls, Director of the Africa Division of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, and on The consequences of sex discrimination in the transmission of nationality to children by Jacqui Hunt, Director of the Europe Office of Equality Now.  The UIA has a wide range of member nationalities, mirroring the scope of the IARLJ, and both days were very useful and productive.

Two interesting documents:

  1. the pdfUIA Budapest Principles , which were agreed in November 2016, and
  2. the very recent   pdfICJ Principles, dated May 2017

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