Accountability and independence of legal profession must be ensured in Myanmar (UN statement)

by | Jun 14, 2022 | Advocacy, Non-legal submissions

Before the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ called today on all States to promote accountability for crimes under international law in Myanmar and on Myanmar junta to ensure the independence of the legal profession.

The statement was delivered during the interactive dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on her oral update on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr. President,

The ICJ deplores the continued perpetration of widespread and serious violations of human rights some of which amount to crimes against humanity.

Additionally, the ICJ is concerned about the progressive dismantling of legal protections of the independence of lawyers.

In particular, the 2021 amendment to the Bar Council Act and orders issued by the Department of the Union Judiciary Supervision are being used to aggressively monitor the activity of lawyers, prevent effective representation, and intimidate and harass lawyers, who are facing disbarment, arrest, and detention based on their professional activities. Such moves by the military junta further entrench impunity in the country.

These amendments lead to the violation of fair trial rights of thousands of opposition leaders, protestors, journalists, and lawyers, who have been arbitrarily detained and are facing prosecution in the country’s military court system. This is illustrated most recently by the rulings affirming the unlawful death sentences imposed on activist Ko Jimmy and former NLD MP, Phyo Zaya Thaw,

The ICJ calls on the Council to urge the military regime to bring their domestic legal framework and practices in line with international law and standards, stop persecuting human rights, including defenders, and ensure the fair administration of justice under the rule of law.

Thank you.”

 

Contact:

Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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