Italy: training seminar on access to asylum procedures and the right to an effective remedy

Italy: training seminar on access to asylum procedures and the right to an effective remedy

Today, the ICJ together with Scuola Universitaria Sant’Anna and Scuola Superiore de la Magistratura hold a training seminar on access to the asylum procedure and the right to an effective remedy in Pisa, Italy.

The training seminar brings together 65 Italian judges and lawyers specialized in access to international protection. During the two days of training, experts from the CJEU, Italian judiciary and academics, UNHCR and ICJ will deliver the training, bringing international human rights and EU law perspectives to the discussion on Italian law and practice.

Among the issues discussed during the training seminar will be access to the asylum procedure in international and EU law, access to the asylum procedure and accelerated procedures in light of the right to an effective remedy,  appeal, legal assistance and legal aid, and interpretation. Further issues including the burden of proof in international protection cases and duties of cooperation with the asylum authority will be examined from the perspectives of  judges, of  territorial Commissions and lawyers as well as from the international and EU law perspective. Finally, working groups on burden of proof, credibility assessment of asylum seekers and countries of origin of asylum seekers will take place.

See the full agenda here.

This training is a part of FAIR PLUS project.  It was carried out with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of ICJ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project

The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project

The ICJ, the Geneva Bar Association and the Geneva legal community have joined forces to launch the ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative. Under the Initiative, Geneva lawyers will join ICJ missions on the five continents to support the independence and integrity of lawyers and judges at risk, and to promote the Rule of Law.

The Initiative launches with a mission tomorrow, May 21st. A lawyer from the Geneva Bar Association will go to Guatemala to work the ICJ team and lawyers investigating and fighting the forced displacement of the indigenous community of La Laguna de El Petén.

Missions under the initiative will typically involve, among other things:

– Trial observations;

– Fact-finding missions;

– Support for the independence of lawyers and bar associations;

– Capacity building and training activities;

– Expertise and academic support.

Since its founding in 1952, the ICJ has played a unique and preeminent role as a non-governmental organization for the defense of the Rule of Law around the world, and the independence of judges and lawyers.

With the presence of its headquarters in Geneva for more than 60 years, through the Initiative the ICJ is further deepening its special bond with the city, to spread and share the spirit of Geneva.

“International support and solidarity are crucial to the work of lawyers defending the human rights of those who are often marginalized from power,” said Michaël Sombart, Director of Strategic Partnerships of the ICJ. “With this project the ICJ can help lawyers around the world benefit from the reputation and high standing of the Swiss legal community and bring the message of the Genève humanitaire beyond borders.”

“This initiative is welcome and we support it with commitment,” said Sandrine Giroud, member of the Geneva Bar Council and Chair of its Human Rights Commission. “The Rule of Law is under attack around the world and lawyers play a vital role in its defense and the impartiality of justice. Our support for the ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative is in line with the lawyer’s mission as a bulwark against the arbitrariness and the defense advocacy tradition of the Geneva Bar Association. We welcome this collaboration, which is part of the fight for justice and respect for fundamental rights and guarantees. ”

Nicolas Gürtner, First Secretary of the Young Bar Association of the Geneva Bar Association, said: “This project offers a remarkable opportunity for young lawyers to work alongside the jurists of international repute of the ICJ in favour of the guarantee of Rule of Law.”

 The Steering Committee for the Initiative includes:

– The ICJ;

– For the Geneva Bar Association: the Commission on Human Rights and the Young Bar Association;

– Representatives of the Geneva judicial and academic world, including Professor Robert Roth, former President of the Court of Cassation, former director of the Geneva Academy, Professor Emeritus of the University of Geneva

Contact :

Michaël W. Sombart, ICJ, Director of Strategic Partnerships, t: +41 22 979 38 31 ; m: +41 77 965 98 45 ; e: michael.sombart(a)


Tajikistan: regional conference on the role and protection of lawyers

Tajikistan: regional conference on the role and protection of lawyers

Today the ICJ, in co-operation with the Legal Policy Research Centre and the Union of Lawyers of Tajikistan, is holding a regional conference on the independence and role of lawyers, in Dushanbe.

Lawyers from Tajikistan as well as other countries of Central Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe will discuss the legal safeguards that should apply to lawyers to ensure that they can defend the human rights of their clients and the role of bar associations in protecting the security and independence of lawyers.

They will consider the role of committees to protect the rights of lawyers, which have been established within the bar associations of several countries in the region, and how these specialized bodies can work most effectively.

A set of recommendations on the protection of lawyers in the region will be produced following the conference.


Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Advisor, Europe and Central Asia Programme, temur.shakirov(a)

Tajikistan-Lawyers Conference-News-Agenda-2018-ENG (Agenda, in PDF)

Myanmar: ICJ helps train Kachin State lawyers and civil society on international human rights law

Myanmar: ICJ helps train Kachin State lawyers and civil society on international human rights law

From 9-12 August, the ICJ-supported trainings on human rights and the law for lawyers, youths and activists from Kachin and Shan states in Myanmar’s north.

On 9 and 10 August, the ICJ joined a “training of trainers” organized by the Humanity Institute, a civil society organization based in Myitkyina.

This aims to improve the capacity of local youths and activists from Kachin and Northern Shan State on basic human rights concepts and measures to engage with Regional and UN Human Rights mechanisms.

The ICJ’s national legal researcher, Ja Seng Ing, shared information about the advantages and limitations of regional human rights mechanisms, including the Europe Commission of Human Rights and the ASEAN Commission of Human Rights. She provided an overview of the UN human rights framework and human rights mechanisms.

In addition to explaining how these work, she also focused on how human rights defenders can communicate with and participate in UN human rights mechanisms by reporting on human rights violations.

Then on 10 and 11 August, the ICJ facilitated a legal training for senior law students, and junior lawyers hosted by the Kachin Legal Clinic, an independent lawyers network.

The Kachin Legal Clinic seeks to develop a pool of young lawyers and with knowledge on the role of lawyers in the field of domestic and international human rights setting and the independence of the lawyers.

On the first day, a national legal adviser from the ICJ shared experiences of litigating for human rights in Myanmar. She also noted the critical role of independent lawyers in protecting human rights, by representing clients from all communities in different parts of Myanmar.

On the second day, Ja Seng Ing gave an overview of global and local law and standards and issues related to accountability and redress for gross human rights violations.

The ICJ’s international legal adviser, Sean Bain, gave an overview of international laws and standards related to the protection of human rights in times of conflict or crises, sourced from international human rights law as well as international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

These activities are part of the ICJ’s ongoing support to civil society actors in Myanmar, from community to national level.

Translate »