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Law Council of Australia


43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva

17 March 2020

On 6 March 2020, the Law Council partnered with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) to deliver an oral statement to the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The statement, delivered by the IBAHRI UN Liaison Dr Helene Boussard Ramos Dos Santos, sought to draw the Council’s attention to the use of counter-terrorism and security measures to repress human rights lawyers and deter them from undertaking their work.

The statement focused on the legislation and measures adopted in China, the Philippines and Turkey. The statement called on the Human Rights Council to:

1. urge States to respect the independence of the legal profession and the corresponding immunities contained in the UN Principles on the Role of Lawyers;

2. protect all lawyers in their professional functions, including those who are called to act for unpopular persons or persons whom a Government alleges to have broken the law; and

3. ensure that these principles are not curtailed by any legislation or measure purporting to protect national or international security interests.

The Law Council is grateful to the IBAHRI for its continued support to enable the Law Council to participate in HRC dialogues.

A full copy of the statement is available here.



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