UPR submission India
31 maart 2022

UPR submission India


On 31 March 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India. The next UPR of India will take place in November 2022.

The report highlights concerns regarding India’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to guarantee the proper functioning of lawyers, without harassment and hindrance, as set out in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (Basic Principles) and other instruments.

The first issue that is highlighted in the submission concerns the use of violence against lawyers. Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI have received reports that there have been instances of lawyers being subjected to verbal and physical assault, and in some cases even murder, conducted by the police and by non-state agents in India.

Another concern that is mentioned in the submission is the judicial harassment of lawyers. Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI were informed of several instances of lawyers facing judicial harassment in relation to their work on politically sensitive cases. Laws such as the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act have been misused in this context.

Furthermore, the submission discusses problems with regards to the freedom of expression of lawyers. Particularly, when voicing their opinions on the independence of the judiciary or the rule of law, lawyers have faced repercussions.

Threats to lawyer-client confidentiality are also highlighted in the report. Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI have serious concerns with regards to the use of surveillance software, including the spyware Pegasus, against Indian lawyers.

In light of these serious concerns regarding the situation of lawyers in India, Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI have made multiple recommendations to the Indian government.

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