Lawyers for Lawyers

What we do

Lawyers should be able to perform their professional duties freely and independently, without external pressure or any fear of reprisal. Always and everywhere. The independence of lawyers is indispensable for the rule of law and a fair judicial system. In practice, however, many lawyers are threatened or harassed for simply doing their job. Lawyers for Lawyers promotes and protects the independence of the legal profession through the support and empowerment of lawyers around the world who face reprisals, improper interferences or restrictions because of their work.

In doing so, we refer to internationally recognized human rights laws and standards, including the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. 

To achieve our mission, vision, and goals, we basically do two things. First, we provide individual and structural support to lawyers at risk and lawyers’ associations through three programs: Defend, Empower, and Implement. Secondly, we raise awareness of the importance of the independent functioning of lawyers for the protection of the rule of law and human rights.

Programs and activities

  • Defend
    Through our Defend program, we generate international attention and advocate for individual cases of lawyers under threat. We write letters to the authorities of the home country of the lawyer, organize social media campaigns, issue statements and press releases, for example, or engage with governments, international institutions and bar associations.  We monitor and highlight violations of lawyers’ professional immunities and privileges, including through trial observation and fact-finding missions and we conduct advocacy on targeted impunity cases.  In each case, we seek to offer tailor made support, guided by local lawyers whose professional rights are violated and other stakeholders.  We also give lawyers a platform through the organization of panel discussions in closed or public settings, private meetings with country delegations at international or national level as well as with the media.
  • Empower
    Secondly, we empower lawyers and lawyers’ associations to fulfil their role in upholding human rights and freedoms, for example by sharing best practices on core values and ethics underpinning the legal profession or by providing interactive training sessions and resource materials on international human rights law and mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
  • Implement
    Through our Implement program, we advocate for laws, policies and practices that provide or reinforce effective protections for the independent functioning and safety of lawyers. We do this by engaging with international bodies, such as the UN, and their mechanisms, including through participation in the Universal Periodic Review. We also submit reports to the Human Rights Committee, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and we engage with UN Special Rapporteurs. We also lobby governments to adopt, implement and enforce effective legal protections and change laws as necessary that encroach on the independence of lawyers.

Helping you

If you are a lawyer at risk, we might be able to help you with free support in as mentioned above. Please contact us via info@lawyersforlawyers.org.

I need help for someone else

If you would like to bring someone else’s case to our attention, please contact us for more information, via info@lawyersforlawyers.nl. You can also nominate a lawyer at risk for the Lawyers for Lawyers Award, which aims to generate international attention and recognition for lawyers who are standing up for human rights and as a result thereof, are threatened in the practicing of their profession. The next Award will be presented in 2019.

Support us!

Lawyers for Laywers mostly depends on the efforts of lawyer-volunteers and we are merely funded by lawyers’ donations. You can also help! In fact, without your support we can not continue defending lawyers at risk from all over the world. See how you can help us as a volunteer or support us financially.

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