Attacks on Justice: the harassment and persecution of judges and lawyers, January 1999 – February 2000

It has become a tradition that the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers produces an annual account of the measures taken during the year against individual judges or lawyers or which undermine the judiciary and the legal profession as a whole.

This is the tenth annual report on this theme. This year, the report mainly documents events that took place during 1999 and up to February 2000. In some cases where the situation substantially evolved during the drafting of the report, changes occurring until May 2000 have been included.

The report is indeed a bleak picture. Judges and lawyers who are meant to be the guardians of the Rule of Law, justice, and the fundamental right to defence were themselves often subjected to intimidation and persecution for
carrying out their professional duties. Attacks were both violent and subtle ranging from killings and disappearances to dismissals and removal of judicial discretion. State agents, paramilitary groups, militias, as well as armed opposition groups, committed such attacks.

During the period under consideration, at least 412 jurists suffered reprisals in 49 countries for carrying out their professional duties. Of these, 16 were killed, 12 disappeared, 79 were prosecuted, arrested, detained or even tortured, 8 were physically attacked, 35 were verbally threatened and 262 professionally obstructed and/or sanctioned.”

attacks on justice-january 1999 february 2000-publication-2000-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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