International development and human rights
“...An effective legal and judicial system is not a luxury but a key component of a well-functioning state and an essential ingredient in long term development.” James Wolfensohn – ex president of the World Bank.
Solicitors and the legal profession have a clear role to play in championing the values and concepts of Justice, Fairness, Equity and Legitimacy. We aim to promote the values and principles that underpin the legal profession by:
“Supporting the legal profession in upholding the rule of law, advocating access to justice and promoting and protecting Human Rights.”
The Law Society’s International Department has been carrying out externally funded project work for the best part of a decade. During this time we have received substantial grants from development agencies and government, and worked in partnership with bar associations/NGOs and governments overseas to deliver projects which promote and protect human rights; support the rule of law and access to justice; and encourage economic development. See below for examples of some of our International work.
Our involvement in such projects can take many forms. This can range from: working with local NGOs in managing direct service delivery, the provision of short and long term expert consultancy work; research and policy recommendations to government; delivery of training and seminars for lawyers and the legal profession.
We undertake this work because we believe that upholding the rule of law, advocating access to justice and promoting and protecting human rights serves both the interests of our members, and the legal profession globally, and we believe that it is in the common interests of the legal profession throughout the world to promote the public interest role that lawyers can and should play in society.
Making legal institutions accessible and responsive to all, including the underprivileged is a central challenge to the legal profession. We believe that lawyers have a key role to play in helping to build and establish lasting structures processes and institutions that are built on the values and principles that underpin the legal profession.
The UK Government must ensure that victims of abuse perpetrated overseas are able to access justice in the UK
The following letter was published in the Times on 2 December 2013.
The president of the Law Society wrote to the president of Sri Lanka expressing concern regarding threats of death and violence made against Ms Nimalka Fernando, a prominent and highly respected human rights lawyer in Sri Lanka.
On the 4 December 2013 the following letter was published in the Guardian (see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/kazakhstan-human-rights).
The President of the Law Society wrote to His Excellency Mr Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan, expressing concern regarding the situation of lawyer Mr Mushtaq Gill.