Women's Revolution in Rojava: Free Seminar 7 June 2016

The Haldane Society invites you to join us for a very special seminar, 'Women's Revolution in Rojava', in association with the Kurdish Student Society and Peace in Kurdistan - Women Alliance.

Speakers:

  • Rahila Gupta, writer and journalist, and Jo Magpie, activist and writer. Both women have recently returned from a women's delegation to Rojava, the autonomous region of northern Syria which has, experienced a social revolution and the establishment of a new society based on gender equality, direct democracy and sustainability. Rahila and Jo will share their first-hand experiences of how the Kurds have put women's equality at the foundation of a successful, free society.
  • Also joining us is Margaret Owen, a UK barrister and human rights activist who has also travelled to the region. She will discuss the newly evolving legal system in Rojava and approaches to violence against women. 

The seminar will be held on Tuesday 7th June 2016 at 6.30pm, 
SOAS Brunei Gallery Building, Room B111, Thornhaugh St, London, WC1H 0XG

Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2016

Protests take place around the world

Members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and other campaigners attend outside the Honduran Embassy in London.

Members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and other campaigners attend outside the Honduran Embassy in London.

Members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers joined lawyers around the world to protest at Honduran Embassies against the treatment of human rights defenders in Honduras.

The protests, facilitated by organisations connected to our partners the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights, and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, highlight the role of international solidarity in protecting human rights defenders.


Stand up for those who defend human rights in Honduras

Members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers hand in a petition to the Honduran Embassy in London.

Members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers hand in a petition to the Honduran Embassy in London.

The following letter, signed by leading members of the Society, was published in The Guardian on 22 January 2016:

We write to highlight that Friday 22 January 2016 is the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Lawyers in the UK will be picketing the Honduran embassy to highlight the plight of lawyers and human rights defenders in that country who face violent attacks and human rights violations on a daily basis.
In 2013 there were 29 violent acts against lawyers, of whom nine were injured and 24 died. In 2014 the national commissioner for human rights recorded the death of 11 lawyers. Between 2010 and March 2015 the commissioner recorded 91 deaths of lawyers as a result of targeted killings.
So bad is the situation that both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in their most recent world reports highlighted the fact that scores of human rights defenders, including indigenous and campesino leaders, LGBTI activists, justice officials and journalists were victims of human rights violations, suffering killings, physical violence, kidnapping, threats, and daily harassment. We cannot let their voices remain unheard.
We believe that lawyers in Honduras should be allowed to perform their professional duties without any intimidation, and that adequate protection needs to be provided by the state, especially when their lives are at risk as a result of the exercise of their profession.
Our aim in picketing on Friday is to highlight the ongoing wave of violence directed at lawyers and human rights defenders in Honduras. Alongside our call for members of the public to protest this Friday, we urge your newspaper to join us in raising awareness, and to support our campaign for the unwavering protection of those who work tirelessly to promote and defend human rights around the world.
Russell Fraser Chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Prof Bill Bowring President, ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & Human Rights
Michael Mansfield QC
Geoffrey Bindman QC
John Hendy QC
Catrin Lewis Barrister, Garden Court chambers
Louise Christian Vice-president, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
David Watkinson Barrister (non-practising)
Paul Heron Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers
Wendy Pettifer Solicitor, Hackney Community Law Centre

Images of protest from around the world

Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2016: Honduras

22 January 2016 is the international Day of the Endangered Lawyer. This year focuses on the plight of lawyers in Honduras.

Since the 2009 coup d’etat there has been an increase in violent attacks and human rights violations that have gravely affected the Honduran population. As Amnesty International report in their 2014/15 ‘State of the World’s Human Rights’:

“Scores of human rights defenders, including Indigenous and campesino leaders, LGBTI activists, justice officials and journalists were victims of human rights violations. They suffered killings, physical violence, kidnapping, threats, harassment and verbal attacks.”

Human Rights Watch in their annual report commented that:

“Honduras suffers from rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses…Judges face acts of intimidation and political interference”

The situation facing lawyers in Honduras is dire. The statistics are alarming. In 2013 there were 29 violent acts against lawyers of which 9 were injured and 24 died. In 2014 the national commissioner for human rights recorded the death of 11 lawyers. From between 2010 and March 2015 the Commissioner has recorded 89 deaths of lawyers as a result of targeted killings.

On Friday, 22nd January 2016 protests will take place outside Honduran Embassies and Consulates all over Europe. In London, lawyers, paralegals and campaigners, with the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, the UK member association of ELDH, will be protesting outside the Honduran Embassy. A petition on behalf of the Honduran lawyers and other law professionals will be handed over to the Ambassador.

There is a Facebook event available at https://www.facebook.com/events/1241952505820312/

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IADL Webinars Programme 2015

Logo of the International Association of Democratic LawyersThe Haldane Society is affiliated to the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, our global sister organisation.  We present here an invitation from IADL to join and participate in a series of webinars focussing on current and crucial issues within international law.  Presented by legal experts from the world over, the aim of these unique webinars is to provide a progressive perspective which can help us to use the law to develop our individual and collective struggles.

A schedule of webinars is found below. It is recommended that you visit the IADL Facebook page to keep up to date on when and how to join them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iadlyouth/

28 April - Anti terrorism law, turkish CHD trials and trial observation training

With Presentations from members of CHD, IADL and ELDH

Mid June - from Geneva HRC - Presentation on Ukraine and the Kurdish

region

26 June UTC 3.45 AM - Presentation from the Conference of Lawyers in the Asia Pacific

(COLAP)

Broadcasting from Commission 1 on the Right to Peace

Mid July - International Tribunal on HR violations in the Philippines -

broadcast from Washington

Late October - Presentation from the National Lawyers Guild (US) national

conference

Late November - IADL/Haldane Society International Women’s Conference

from London

Early December - IADL Conference on the 70th anniversary of the UN Charter

Haldane Condemns the Arrest of Basque Lawyers

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers joins our comrades across Europe in condemning the arrest of 12 Basque lawyers on 12 January 2015.  We have reproduced below the press release of our European affiliates ELDH and EDL.

The European Lawyers Associations ELDH and EDL are extremely concerned about the information that on 12th January 2015, at 07h00 in the morning in the Basque Country/Spain and in Madrid 16 people, among them 12 lawyers, were  arrested for alleged terrorist crimes. The 12 lawyers arrested are: - Arantxa Aparicio, , Ainhoa Baglietto, Ane Ituiño, Amaia Izko, Eukene Jauregi, Jaione Karrera, Aiert Larrarte, Kepa Manzisidor, Onintza Ostolaza, Alfonso Zenon, Atxarte Salvador, Haizea Ziluaga. After their arrest, their professional premises have been searched. The 4 lawyers who were arrested in Madrid are defence lawyers in a political mass trial which was to start the following day. Strikingly enough all lawyers have been released two days later.

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Outrage over decision not to indict Darren Wilson for killing of Michael Brown

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers expresses outrage at the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. This denial of justice sustains the culture of impunity which allows racist and overly violent officers to damage the social fabric of the nation and destroy lives. It is a symptom of a widespread system of racial injustice that continues to criminalise and oppress minority communities. 

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers supports the Brown family and all families who have suffered as a result of police brutality. Across the United States of America similar tragedies continue to occur as a result of police profiling, excessive use of lethal force and institutional racism. In just the last week, police have shot and killed two other unarmed African-Americans – Akai Gurley, 28, “accidentally” gunned down in his Brooklyn stairwell; and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy holding a BB gun near a Cleveland playground. 

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers expresses its solidarity with protesters across the United States of America who have voiced their disappointment and anger at the verdict. We strongly oppose the use of excessive force by officers and the criminalisation of protesters in Ferguson, the usage of military technology for domestic policing, the deployment of the National Guard, and the actions taken by police officers to shut out media reporting.

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers denounces this state sanctioned violence and calls upon Darren Wilson to be federally indicted and for an inquiry to take place into the actions taken by St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and the Ferguson Police Department.

We call on our members and all who read this statement to sign the petition to take this prosecution of Officer Darren Wilson to the Missouri Supreme Court: https://www.change.org/p/the-supreme-court-of-missouri-take-the-case-of-michael-brown-popularly-dubbed-the-ferguson-case-to-the-missouri-supreme-court-with-ferguson-officer-darren-wilson-as-the-accused

We also call on our members to attend this evening's (26 November) protest outside the US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ at 5.30pm. The protest is being organised by Stand Up to Racism in opposition to the decision not to prosecute and the police brutality being carried out currently in Ferguson, and as a show of solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and other victims of state racism.