Accountability in Libya; Independence of lawyers in Ukraine (UN statement)

The ICJ today highlighted the need for accountability for crimes under international law in Libya, and concerns for the independence of lawyers in Ukraine, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The oral statement, delivered in the general debate on technical cooperation and capacity building, read as follows:

“Madame President,

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the oral updates on Ukraine and Libya.

Technical assistance and capacity building objectives in Libya can only be achieved if the protection of human rights, entrenchment of the rule of law and pursuit of accountability are prioritized.

States should support the Fact-Finding Mission by extending its reporting mandate, increasing contributions to the UN budget necessary to establish the Mission’s secretariat, and fully cooperating with it.

States should also support the Berlin Process working groups, ensuring that the political and accountability pillars work in unison and making meaningful commitments to implement their recommendations.

Across all of Ukraine, lawyers continue to be associated with their clients and may face consequences for representing them by private individuals and also through abuse of legal proceedings. High-profile cases bear risks for independent lawyers who choose to diligently represent their clients.

The decline in security of lawyers in and outside of courts, and the problem of threats, harassment, and attacks against lawyers, should be addressed as a matter of priority, including through technical cooperation. Measures should be taken to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and court security personnel to ensure that lawyers and others involved in court proceedings can work in an atmosphere free from intimidation, harassment, and improper interference.

Thank you.”

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