The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers condemns the attacks by right-wing media and politicians on our vice-president, Phil Shiner. We have sent a letter to the Law Society asking them to do the same. The text of the letter reads as follows:
Mr Andrew Kaplan
The Law Society
113 Chancery Lane
3 March 2015
Dear Mr Kaplan
Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers
I write to express our profound anger and disgust at the treatment by politicians and journalists of our society’s vice president, Mr Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers.
In December 2014, following the publication of the Al-Sweady Inquiry report there followed unjustified and vindictive personal attacks on Mr Shiner in both parliament and the press that, in turn, have led to him receiving personal abuse, including threats to his life.
We at the Haldane Society condemn threats to human rights lawyers and defenders all over the world. It is particularly alarming to see practises in this country which our government would rightly be quick to condemn elsewhere in the world.
Over the weekend of 28 February further news reports surfaced in newspapers with a clear political agenda. We call on the Law Society to condemn these attacks on Mr Shiner and anyone else whose legal work is focused on ensuring state accountability.
These attacks are particularly enthusiastic at a time when government ministers gleefully denounce the Human Rights Act and speak of its repeal. The clear intention behind the vitriol is to undermine both the work of human rights lawyers and the Human Rights Act.
We hope that you will act promptly to support our colleague.
Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers