Submission to Human Rights Committee
In October 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee will review Colombia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a submission for this review, to inform the Committee about the situation of lawyers in Colombia.
Due to our participation in the mission Caravana Internacional de Juristas last August, Lawyers for Lawyers was able to share recent information about the working conditions of lawyers in Colombia. In the submission, Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted that the Colombian authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice. Lawyers are regularly subjected to threats and attacks, including killings. Furthermore, despite the creation of the UNP, there remains a lack of protection against harassment and attacks on lawyers. Acts of harassment towards lawyers and attacks against lawyers often remain unpunished. Impunity of such acts of persecution has a “chilling effect” on other lawyers, negatively influencing the quality of their work, potentially forcing them to renounce to certain kinds of cases, and working in the fear that they or their families may be at risk because of their work. As a result, lawyers are not in an equal position to represent their clients.
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UPR submission Colombia
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Adil Meléndez Marquez: “When starting a legal case, there is no guarantee at all that it will ever be treated, let alone that environmental and human rights violations are actually punished”
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