'The IBAHRI has assisted many in practical ways and has grown to provide inspiration of many kinds to lawyers around the world.’
- Nicholas Cowdery, inaugural IBAHRI Co-Chair (1995-2000)
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has launched its 2016 Annual Review. Human rights have come under attack in 2016, demonstrating that the work of the IBAHRI is as important as ever. Since its establishment in 1995, the IBAHRI has endeavoured to defend fundamental human rights through the promotion and protection of the independence of the legal profession, and by providing members of the global legal community with the tools needed to do the same.
As part of its ongoing training programmes in the Americas, the IBAHRI provided torture-prevention training to over 350 legal professionals, including judges and public defenders, across Brazil and Mexico. Additionally, the IBAHRI continued to monitor the emblematic trial of Venezuelan Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, and sent an open letter to President Donald Trump of the United States, which identified the key human rights priorities his administration should address.
An open letter was also sent to China’s President Xi Jinping, calling for the immediate release of detained legal professionals in the country. Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, the newly established Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar, produced the first draft of a code of ethics for the Myanmar legal profession. In Timor-Leste, the IBAHRI has helped paved the way for a future Timorese bar association.
Over 40 young Azerbaijani legal professionals received training on freedom of expression, liberty, and security, and a number of training seminars covering strategic planning and professional standards took place in Tajikistan, as part of the IBAHRI's ongoing work in Europe and Central Asia. Last year, the IBAHRI also facilitated the visit of Kazakh lawyers to Geneva to promote their engagement at the UN level and conducted a high-level scoping mission to Almaty and Astana to discuss future capacity building and advocacy activities with the Almaty Bar Association.
The IBAHRI continued its programmes in the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tunisia, the second phase of the IBAHRI’s judicial training programme took place, and 65 judges and prosecutors from 24 regions took part in ‘training-of-trainers’ workshops, which will allow more than 1,000 judges to benefit from mentoring on torture prevention. Furthermore, a second fact-finding mission to Zambia was undertaken, following on from the 2015 mission, as part of the IBAHRI’s wider programme on taxation, poverty, and human rights.
To receive a hard copy of the Annual Review 2016, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.