Joint UPR submission Venezuela
On 15 July 2021, Lawyers for Lawyers and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) submitted a joint report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Venezuela. The next review for Venezuela will take place January 2022.
In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI highlight that Venezuela is currently not consistently upholding the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession and is therefore not fulfilling the requirements set out in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI express concern on various issues with regards to the effective guarantees for the functioning of lawyers. First, lawyers from Venezuela reported being subject to improper interference by the authorities and even being subjected to or threatened with prosecution when working on sensitive cases. Multiple lawyers or their family members have had to leave the country in response to the threats they receive.
Further, a new Administrative Regulation imposes strict controls over civil society, including lawyers’ collectives, furthering the systemic criminalization of civil society by the government of Venezuela.
A third issue that Venezuelan lawyers reported was being hindered in their ability to prepare an adequate defense for their clients, as they are often not provided with essential case documents or are prevented from visiting their clients. The lawyers also reported issues with client-lawyer confidentiality.
Lawyers for Lawyers and IBAHRI have made multiple recommendations to the government of Venezuela.
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