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Haldane Society Supports the Extraordinary Session of the Russell Tribunal

Israel’s Crimes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge – Extraordinary session of the Russell Tribunal

24-25 September – Brussels – Albert Hall, Brussel


A few weeks ago, members of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, outraged by Israel’s terrible assault on Gaza and its population, decided to start working on an extraordinary session of the Tribunal that will look into Israel’s Crimes (including War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and the Crime of Genocide) during the still ongoing “Operation Protective Edge” as well as third States complicity.

During this session, that will take place on one day in Brussels on 24th September, our jury, so far composed of Michael Mansfield QC (President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyer), John Dugard, Vandana Shiva, Christiane Hessel, Richard Falk, Ahdaf Soueif, Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, Roger Waters and Ronnie Kasrils will listen to testimonies from Paul Behrens, Desmond Travers, Pierre Barbancey (TBC), Max Blumenthal, Eran Efrati, Mads Gilbert, Mohammed Abou-Arab, Mads Gilbert, Paul Mason, Martin Lejeune, Mohammed Omer, Raji Sourani, Ashraf Mashharawi and Ivan Karakashian.

The jury will give its findings on 25th September in the morning during an international press conference at the International Press Center (IPC, Brussels). In the afternoon, the Jury will be received at the European parliament and address a message to the UN General Assembly for its reopening.

To register for the session (free), email your name and organisation to



Free Talha Asan!

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers looks forward to welcoming Talha Ahsan home to Britain on his release from custody in the US.  He committed no offence under British law and we question why he was extradited to the United States. He was detained for six years in Britain and then for another two years in the States, the latter period in solitary confinement in a supermax prison. No one should ever have to endure those conditions. He is one of the victims of the war on terror. We congratulate his family, friends and supporters on their tenacious campaign for his freedom, resulting in him being sentenced to “time served” and released.

For more information on the campaign to free Talha Asan, see


Haldane Response to Delivering Civil Justice in an Age of Austerity

The Haldane Society has responded to Justice's consultation on "Delivering Civil Justice in an Age of Austerity".

Whilst we understand that the purpose of the working party’s consultation is to find cheaper ways of delivering justice, we do not agree with the current prevailing economic philosophy that severe cuts in public services need to be made. We continue to argue that legal aid should be expanded, not cut. When the legal aid scheme was first introduced, in 1949, around 80% of the population was financially eligible for legal aid in comparison with less than a third today. We believe that financial eligibility should return to the levels that it was in 1949. The costs of this could be recouped through taxation.

Download the response (pdf).

Click to read more ...


Haldane Joins IADL in Condemnation of Israeli Attack on Gaza

The Haldane Society has endorsed the following statement by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers

IADL condemns in the strongest possible terms the bombing and attacking of civilians in the West Bank and Gaza and cals upon the international community to demand an end to this offensive and hold Israel accountable.

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, a non-governmental organization with consultative status at ECOSOC and other UN agencies condemns as gross violations of international humanitarian law the bombing of civilians and civilian objects in Gaza; in particular the targeting of homes, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure. IADL also condemns the attacks on civilians in West Bank including the specific targeting of leaders of political parties and the resumption of massive home demolitions.  This is the third major bombing attack on Gaza since Israel removed its settlements there in 2005 and imposed the siege which has lasted many years.

IADL demands that the bombing be stopped and that the international community must hold Israel and its ally the United States accountable for these war crimes.

Ten years ago the International Court of Justice in its “Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” declared the construction of the wall to be illegal under international law. The Court decided that Israel could not claim it had to build the wall in “self-defense” as the Palestinians constitute a people under Israeli occupation and are therefore not a "foreign" threat for the purposes of Article 51 of the UN Charter.  For the same legal reasons, Israel cannot claim that the bombing of Gaza is “self-defense” as the Palestinians have a right to resist illegal occupation.

IADL believes that these bombings of civilians are crimes against humanity as they are inhuman acts against a civilian population in connection with a crime against peace. Additionally they are illegal collective punishment and violate the laws of war regarding proportionality.

IADL calls upon the international community to hold Israel responsible for grave violations of international law.


Haldane Endorses LPHR Complaint to the UN