Azerbaijan: Briefing paper on new legislation restricting court representation by lawyers

Europe and Central Asia
Issue: Independence of Judges and Lawyers
Document Type: Legal Submission
Date: 2017

In a new briefing paper, the ICJ expressed today concerns at the adverse impact of new legislation on the right to access to a lawyer and to a fair trial in Azerbaijan.

On 31 October 2017, the Azerbaijan Parliament adopted amendments to the Civil and Administrative Codes of Azerbaijan and the law “On lawyers and lawyers’ activity” that restrict representation in court to lawyers who are members of the Bar Association.

The amendments were signed into law on 7 November by President Ilham Aliyev and are due to enter into force on 1 January 2018.

The new legislation bans representation in courts by non-members of the Bar Association in Azerbaijan.

If implemented without a necessary and sufficient transition period, it will terminate the legal practice of many practicing lawyers without a realistic possibility to join the Bar Association and thereby continue their work.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is concerned that this will leave many people in Azerbaijan without access to legal assistance and representation in violation of their human rights, including the right to a fair hearing.

Azerbaijan-legalsubmission-accesstoalawyer-2017-eng (download the briefing paper)

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