Azerbaijan: ICJ intervenes before European Court of Human Rights in defence of human rights lawyers

The ICJ intervened today before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of three human rights lawyers who had been denied Bar membership because of their human rights activity.

The cases concern the compliance of the procedures of admission to and disbarment from the Bar Association of Azerbaijan of human rights lawyers Annagi Hajibeyli, Khalid Bagirov and Intigam Aliyev.

In its submissions, the ICJ stressed that, while lawyers have to perform their professional functions in conformity with ethical standards, the legal profession’s systems of admission and discipline must not enforce such obligations in a way that impairs the exercise of human rights by lawyers or their capacity to effectively represent their clients.

Based on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as international standards governing the legal profession, the ICJ submission addresses:

  1. permissible restrictions of lawyers’ rights to respect for private (including professional) life under article 8 ECHR and to freedom of expression under article 10 ECHR,
  2. procedural safeguards required to apply such restrictions under article 6 ECHR.
  3. key findings of a recent ICJ fact-finding mission to assess the compliance of the governance of the legal profession in Azerbaijan with international law and standards.

icj-bagirovothers-amicusbrief-azerbaijan-2016-final (download the third party intervention)

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