On June 14, 2023, around 300 human rights lawyers, judges, reporters, and associations worldwide attended online and in-person to the third edition of the International Fair Trial Day (IFTD) and Ebru Timtik Award. The Conference had the participation as panellists of eminent lawyers, human rights defenders, victims and academics from Mexico, as well as members of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

The report released today summarizes the issues addressed at the Conference, especially on the fair trial abuses and violations occurring in Mexico. The panellists addressed issues such as the excessive use of pretrial detention and the constitutional requirement that judges impose mandatory pre-trial detention on some crimes, attacks to judicial independence many courts and judges are facing, the lack of justice in cases of enforced disappearances and torture, as well as the unequal access to justice and the incredible cost for women and indigenous peoples that face impunity.

During the Conference, the Ebru Timtik Award was given by former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García Sayan, to two distinguished female lawyers: Alicia de los Rios and Ana Yeli Perez Garrido. Alicia de los Rios is a lawyer and historian who has dedicated her life to the search for her mother, a victim of enforced disappearance in the 1970s and has demanded justice for her mother and the more than 100,000 disappeared persons in Mexico. Ana Yeli Perez Garrido is a lawyer who advocates for women rights, and has accompanied and represented women, girls and adolescents who have been victims of torture and sexual and family violence as well as attempted feminicide and feminicide.

Background

The International Fair Trial Day was established in 2021 with the endorsements from more than 100 legal associations across the world, to be observed every year on June 14th. It serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of those in countries where fair trial principles are not being respected. The right to a fair trial has long been recognised by the international community as a fundamental human right.

The Ebru Timtik Award was created to honour the memory of a prominent female lawyer member of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD), who was convicted on 20 March 2019 in Türkiye after a trial where basic procedural safeguards were ignored. Her conviction was based on the testimony of anonymous witnesses, many of whom gave inconsistent testimony. The defects in the trial process, which was a further reflection of the systemic fair trial issues she had witnessed and fought against as a lawyer, led Ebru Timtik to commence a death fast while being in prison, and on 27 August 2020 she passed away while continuing to protest the lack of respect for fundamental fair trial principles in the criminal justice system.

 

Read and download the full report here.